I copied this from a newsletter I receive called "Dominie's Newsletter" dated November 1, 2006 written for people with Fibromyalgia, CFS, &/or M.E. Well this article could pretain to anyone in severe pain. I not only have RSD, but also Fibromyalgia & Sjogren's Syndrome. I have read concern from members here & from other websites in the past about how we, who take powerful pain medications for severe pain &/or how some of us are scared to take powerful pain medications for fear of addiction or what other people will/would think of us, including our own Doctors. Well Dominie was sent this from another reader of her website/newsletter, who was not named or I would give that person complete credit for what she wrote, on this specific subject. The drug that she is talking about is Oxycontin. But this could pretain to any opiate/narcotic that anyone of us may take for RSD pain.
"People don't become addicted to oxycontin in three days. It just does not happen that fast. Talk to any medical specialist (doctor, nurse, pharmacist) and they will tell you. Yes, after two weeks if you stop cold turkey, you will have withdrawal symptoms. You should NEVER stop a medication like that cold turkey, but that does not mean the medicine is addictive. You should not stop heart medication cold turkey, you should not stop diabetes meds cold turkey, you should not stop steroids cold turkey because you will have side effects if you do. Some can be dangeorus. But you don't hear anyone say they are addicted to heart medicine! Withdrawal symptoms means your body has become accustomed to having the drug in your system, but that is NOT addiction.
You should take great care with ANY medicine and should know the facts, potential side effects, potential problems with other medicines, etc. We must take responsibility for what we put in our bodies. But we should not shy away from pain medicine if it will help us function, particularly if the pain is severe and nothing else helps. Side effects from stopping a medication can be avoided altogether or greatly reduced if you do so according to directions and oxycontin is one you do not stop cold turkey w/o side effects.
As for oxycontin being an abused street drug, yes it is one of many drugs used by junkies. NOT because it is highly addictive but because it is a time-released pill and when you crush it, you get the entire dose at one time. This gets a person very high. It is also extremely dangerous, particularly with the higher dose tablets. The tablets most people are given for pain are the lower dose ones. You only get the higher dose ones when you have something like cancer and only after you work your way up to the higher amounts. When taken properly for pain control, oxycontin is no more addictive than any other pain medicine (i.e. the % are very low). The only reason oxycontin is sought out by street junkies more than some others is the slow-release aspect giving them a bigger high. When taken as directed for pain control, a person doesn't even get a mild buzz from it once your body adapts to the side effects.
If taken properly, pain medicine can be extremely beneficial. Of course if there is a natural remedy that works I would take that before I would take a prescription drug. But sometimes you need prescription medicines. The main thing people need to do is research. Don't put something in your body until you have read, read, read and know all there is to know about it. Some people think just because a doctor writes a prescription, it must be safe and that is a very dangerous mindset. Just as it is dangerous to assume that just because something is sold over the counter, it must be safe. Even water, taken in excess, can kill. Too much water in a short period of time will throw off your electrolytes and cause your brain to swell and you can die.
It frustrates us when the medical community poo-pahs natural remedies, esp. when we know they work. But there are people in the natural healing arena that can be just as close-minded by only accepting natural remedies and refusing to even consider prescription meds. For me, I take natural remedies 99% of the time, but there is that 1% I take that isn't.
I don't think anyone should take opiates lightly, but I also don't think they should be scared out of taking them because there are people that use them on the street to get high. There are people who use pseudoephedrine to make crystal meth, but that doesn't mean people with a runny nose shouldn't take a decongestant. There are people who sniff glue to get high, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be allowed to use glue. It's all in using it for its intended purpose correctly.
It is hard enough to have a disease people make fun of and disbelieve. We shouldn't also have to deal with the stigma of being a "drug addict" when we take pain medicine. People who take insulin for diabetes aren't bad-mouthed. People who take heart medicine or anti-seizures meds aren't made to feel bad for it. Why do so many sit in judgment of those who must take pain medicine?
If you find yourself taking more medicine than prescribed, if you find yourself doing whatever it takes to get more and more drugs (stealing your doctor's prescription pad, buying them illegally over the internet, stealing them from people's medicine cabinets, seeing more than one doctor to get more meds), then you have a problem and should seek help. But if you are taking the medicine as prescribed to control severe pain you cannot control with anything else, then don't let others make you feel guilty for doing so. And don't let others scare you into avoiding them."
I hope this was/is helpful to atleast one person out there. If you would be interested in her website you can find it here: