I have been being treated by a awesome doctor one that is not a pill pusher but knows how to treat pain. My history shattered bones on various parts of my body fixed with pins and bolts.servere injury to my back. I have been on hydrocodone for over 10 years . I take the required dose each day which is 6 a day but I have been for the last 3 years I stop taking them for 2 weeks each month and disgard the pills I have left. I do this so I do not become a shaking addict needing pils . I let the pain intensify for the 2 weeks and I only feel crappy for 1 1/2 days after I stop taking them the pain comes back with a vengence but I feel I can tolerate it for the two weeks so I do not become addicted . I also do not feel the need to go out of my way to get more pills . So I am wondering am I addicted or am I dependent for all the injuryies I had in my life. Just a question I am looking for insight from anyone docs, peoplein this situation ,
Well, first I'll say that hydrocodone is a PRN drug, meaning it's a drug you take "as needed" for pain. there are other drugs for pain that you take on a schedule for broader, longer lasting pain management. so the 'required' dose you mention, well that may be what your needs require, but you're not beholden to that. you don't HAVE to take 6 a day. ideally you would only take them 'as you need them.'
This schedule of yours where you stop taking it for a stretch of time then start up again is in some circles referred to as a "drug holiday." for example people with Parkinson's Disease will take drug holidays-- go off of their medications -- so that the tolerance they built up will go down and the meds will be effective again.
in your case, i think there would be some debate about whether or not you have an addiction to hydrocodone, because typically an addiction to pain pills is not something you can turn on and off each month. you need them every day or you get sick. to that end, you don't seem like an addict to me.
you also have an evident need for pain meds, correct? the only thing that might make someone wonder is the full ritual you explain-- take the max daily dose for a stretch of time, then dump them, feel shitty for a day or so, then endure pain, but then like clockwork get your hydrocodone filled. it's either you're being especially careful NOT to develop an addiction, or, you're ritualizing a pre-existing addiction.
i guess you should ask yourself this: when you take hydrocodone, why do you take it? I know, you have pain issues. But do you only take it when the pain is there? or do you take it sometimes because you're just depressed and want to feel good? in other words, what is your motivation in taking it? do you sometimes abuse it by taking it when you don't need to?
All told, you don't really sound like a hydrocodone addict to me. But you do sound like someone who is very ... involved with their pain meds. your monthly ritual could be mistaken for a hobby. and so while it doesn't sound like you're an addict, it does sound like the potential to develop a daily addiction is there.
Thank you for your input . I wanted to hear about what someone else would think .
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