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Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 358
Experience:  15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
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Is it possible to be physically dependent on rx pain killers without being an addict (I h

Customer Question

Is it possible to be physically dependent on rx pain killers without being an addict? (I have never "abused" my meds, and have only taken as prescribed. They are no longer effective for pain, but I have to take them in order to not be sick.) I have many medical problems including chronic pain, but I want to try different therapies. If so, where can I get medical help to detox off these drugs without getting treatment for a condition that I don't have? My prescribing doc is not helpful.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. K replied 6 years ago.

Dr. K :

What do you mean by WLS?

Dr. K :

Also, even though your dependence is iatrogenic (which means it is secondary to the treatment you got for pain), and even though you may not ever have abused the meds to get high, the basic physiological process is the same.

Dr. K :

You're better saying that you are addicted (otherwise programs will be worried that you aren't serious for recovery). Then when you speak the counselors & go to groups, you can clarify the history of how you got hooked.

Dr. K :

Here would be other options: search for a an outpatient suboxone clinic which can detox you as an outpatient.

Dr. K :

Or find a different doc (preferably psychiatrist or addction specialist) to help you with outpatient detox.

Customer:

I had gastric bypass surgery (weight loss surgery).

Dr. K :

Keep in mind, that some people, despite detox medications still have some withdrawal symptoms.

Dr. K :

I find it odd that you were turned down by detoxes b/c of medical issues. Are there other problems besides your surgery?

Dr. K :

Btw, if you can't find a suboxone specialist...the other medication you want to ask about is clonidine for detox. It won't get rid of all the withdrawals, but it certainly will help.

Customer:

I can't take that med as it is extended release and I can no longer break down enteric coated or extended release, besides, isn't that just trading one drug for another to be addicted to?

Customer:

Clonodine might be an option, but I can't say that I am a junkie when i am not, plus I was a healthcare professional and would like to go back to work at some point and do not want that dx on my records.

Dr. K :

Yes & no...if you only use suboxone temporarily, you are not trading one addiction for another. Are you sure about not being able to take suboxone? I just took the suboxone certification course...I havent prescribed it yet, but I don't recall gastric bypass being a contraindication to trying suboxone.

Dr. K :

I'm not saying to say you are a junkie...but admit that you are dependence. Look, most substance abuse programs are 12 step oriented...I recommend them to many patients, but they clearly have their own limitations. These people are hard core...sometimes you just suck up part of the program that you may not agree with in order to get the help you need...then move on.

Customer:

If often isn't listed, but the contraindications for the WLS pt is that we should not take ext. rls or enteric coated as we cannot break down the pill, therefore we eliminate the entire pill in our waste.

Customer:

Thanks for your opinion. I guess that means there are no other options to get detoxed other than getting beat up with a big book.

Customer:

I haven't found either.

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