What is addiction? According to the dictionary “an addiction is a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by a well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal.” Not all addictions are from the use of illegal drugs. Prescription drugs can also cause a person to have an addiction. So whether you are addicted to prescription medication or street drugs there are similarities on how to beat addiction.
Seeing how we are such a polite society for the most part we often refer to a person using prescription pills for pain as dependent on the pills not addicted. The reference being that once the pain issues are over you can get off this medication. After all Big Pharma has led us to believe that these pain meds are non addictive.
This Could Not Be Further From The Truth.
My story began in early 2004 when I hurt my neck in the workplace. I worked in the automotive industry in the factory fixing machines.
After going to several specialist I underwent several physiotherapy sessions then one doctor thought surgery was needed and sent me to another specialist who did not deem it necessary.
My family doctor prescribed various pain killers to no avail until he prescribed me Oxycontin in late 2004. It was like a miracle. I was now able to live an almost pain free life.
A Bit Of History
In 1996 Purdue Pharmacy released Oxycontin. Oxycontin is an extended release medication which means it is designed to release small amounts of oxycodone for up to 12 hours. This was considered great for people who had just had an operation or suffered from chronic pain. In just two years after its release, Oxycontin was responsible for 80% of Purdue’s profits. Unfortunately it was also becoming well-known by drug enforcement.
The problem was people were crushing the pill and then snorting it, smoking it or even injecting it. Now that 12 hour dose was being taken all at once.
From1992 to 2006 treatment for opiod users jumped from 40,000 to 120,000 people. Purdue was required to add warnings concerning the use of Oxycontin. Despite the warnings this drug affected many of the states in the Appalachian and became known as “Hillbilly Heroin”.
Finally, in 2013 a new tamper proof Oxycontin was released. It was harder to crush and when tampered with it would turn to gel. This pill can’t be snorted and is quite hard to inject.
This pill then became known as Oxyneo, which I was now being prescribed.
Life just kind of went along until 2018 when my husband and I decided to move to Nova Scotia. We are still in the process of fixing up the house and finding a house in Nova Scotia.
This brought up another problem. Nova Scotia has a shortage of doctors so where am I going to find a doctor that will prescribe me oxyneo?
It Was Time To Get Off The Oxyneo.
The Pains of Withdrawal
Being the smart person that I am I never thought to look up about withdrawal symptoms when coming off of oxyneo. I mean really how bad could it be. Well let me tell you it was bad! I experienced every withdrawal symptom you possibly could. My body ached, I had diarrhea, runny nose, sneezing, goosebumps, shaking, shivering, nausea, sweating and restlessness. In two weeks I lost 20 pounds as the only thing I could hold down was water. I was so unsteady on my feet that we had to rent a walker.
About five months previous to getting off the oxyneo I started to take medical marijuana because I was having a hard time sleeping at night. Since it can also help with pain I foolishly thought that as I came off the oxyneo that the medical marijuana would help with the pain. That was such a dumb idea because I was not able to hold the medical marijuana down. (I don’t smoke it I take it in oil form.)
After about three weeks I was able to hold down solid food although the diarrhea continued. I graduated from the walker to a cane and although very weak and tiring very easily I was turning a corner. I was also at this time able to resume taking medical marijuana. Now I was taking it to manage my pain which I still had. I can honestly say that it is handling the pain very well.
Life After Oxyneo
It has now been 3 months since I went off of the oxyneo. Everyday I see improvements. My doctor was not too happy about how I got off the oxyneo but he was happy that I was off of it. The thing about oxyneo is that it masks more than the pain for which you are taking the drug. My teeth have never really bothered me but now all of a sudden I have about five teeth that are hurting. Some people believe that oxyneo can contribute to a decline in your dental health. I am still having some other health issues but they say it takes about a year to a year and a half to truly get rid of the demon drug’s affect.
My first bit of advice is to not do what I did. If you want to get off of a prescription pain medication or even a street drug see your doctor or a medical professional. Also make sure you have a support system. If it hadn’t been for my husband I don’t know what would have happened to me. He really stepped up and took very good care of me.
Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana
Since I am now taking medical marijuana for pain I am feeling much better. If for some reason I am not able to take my medical marijuana I do not start having withdrawal symptoms like I had with the oxyneo. I now do not have to go to the doctor every month to get a prescription. I go once a year to a medical doctor who specializes in medical marijuana. Depending on the prescription he gives me I can then order my marijuana online from the licensed medical marijuana producer that I have selected. They then deliver it right to my door. Very convenient.
One of the cons of using medical marijuana is, once you are approved you choose your provider and then you are stuck with that provider until you get your prescription renewed. You cannot purchase from another medical marijuana provider. This may not seem like a big issue but some providers have way more product than others. Best to do some research before going to the doctors.
Another con of using medical marijuana is it is illegal in some countries which makes it difficult to travel to those countries. The United States especially with the government now in place would not be a country of my choice to travel to. Even though medical marijuana is legal in some states, federally it is still a crime, so when crossing the border you will get into trouble if you have your medical marijuana with you.
If I had to do it all over again I think I would have sought the advice of my doctor before going cold turkey. Like I said before I don’t know what would have happened to me if I did not have the support and help of my husband. My doctor told me that people have died doing what I did so, again, if you want to beat your addiction see a health professional.
Remember there are alternatives to pain management and medical marijuana is one of those alternatives. In Canada it will officially become legal in October 2018. You will legally be able to purchase a certain amount and you can also legally be able to grow up to 4 plants. This is for recreational use, if you are using it for medical purposes then how much you can possess or grow will depend on you prescription.
Marijuana is so much more than getting high. It does have great medical benefits that some people in power are turning a blind eye to. They only see those that abuse the drug. So why do they turn a blind eye to alcohol abuse?
If you are suffering from pain maybe you should discuss with your doctor the benefits of using medical marijuana. You eventually may want to even grow your own.Share This:
Never new of the medical benefits of marijuana, also in some countries the government are working to ban the use of Marijuana. Though i was never addicted to marijuana, I’m sure my friends would find this post helpful.
Thanks for sharing the inspiring story, i think i still take drugs without doctors prescription, i know its bad and i plan to stop it soonest.
Marijuana has many medical benefits that some people still seem unwilling to accept. I live in Canada so since October of this year recreational marijuana is also now legal. I find that with marijuana it does not have the addictive qualities like a lot of the pain medication manufactured by Big Pharma.
Wow, it sounds like you’ve been through the ringer. I’m sorry for all the pain you’ve been through and are going through in your journey through this life. I am grateful to you that you are sharing your story, because your story will prevent others from going through the same experience if they read your story first. You are doing such a good service to others to tell what happened to you. I wish you well. God Bless.
Hi Babs thanks for your kind comments. It has been quite a battle and I am still having some health issues. I can understand in one way why an addict doesn’t want to give up their drug of choice but on the other hand if you couldn’t afford your drug of choice all the time why go through all that pain and then do it all over again?
This is a great post and tells the very real story about the legal drug dealers and their suppliers. I was amazed at what you went through getting of your prescribed drug. I sometimes wonder how drugs can be prescribed when the side effects are way worse than the actual symptons for which you are given the drug. It’s a funny world we live in.
Canada obviously has a more switched on approach to the benefits of Cannabis and is not blind to the benefits. I sincerely hope you continue on your recovery and get the word out there that cannabis is not evil at all, but a gift from nature.
Hi Paul you are so right it is a funny world we live in. When Purdue first came out with Oxycodone they lied to the medical community telling them that it was not an addictive drug. There are still many people on this drug who will probably never get off of it. So even though they lied about their drug they are still manufacturing it and making millions.
It takes a lot of courage to share a story about beating addiction but I am glad that you did. I am curious about a couple of things.
Do you think it would have been better to still take Oxyneo and slowly work your way off of it? That way your body doesn’t have a systematic shock.
Also, do you have any concerns about getting addicted to marijuana? Just curious.
Hi Jessie Yes it would have definitely been better to wean myself off of the oxyneo. I could have actually gone into a methadone program to help get off of it. What I did I must admit was not the smartest thing. To answer your other question about getting addicted to marijuana – No I am not concerned about that at all. When I was on oxyneo if I went a day without it I was suffering. What I thought was pain from my injury was actually pain from withdrawal. If I don’t take marijuana I will have pain but not withdrawal pain. This is something I learned when I got off the oxyneo the difference between my original pain and withdrawal pain.
Addiction is a powerful thing and a lot of people don’t have enough strength or will to get rid of it. It needs a lot of support from family and doctors in order to get rid of it. I have seen bad addictions and the worst thing is that people don’t feel like wanting to get out of it. They just say they are weak to do so and just continue with it which is incredibly shame. Although I have never been in a situation like this before I feel that it’s all in the mind and if a person is strong mentally to overcome this.
Hi Stratos thanks for your comment. You are so right. In order to beat addiction the support of your family is crucial. I don’t know what I would have done without my husband. Also it would have been very easy to just pop one of those pills and get rid of all that suffering but I was determined to get off of them. I took all of the pills back to the pharmacy so they could dispose of them. Good Riddance!