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Painkiller problem

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Ok, new to this site, stumbled across it whilst looking for some relevant information, so thought I'd make an account and see if anyone has any suggestions...

In 2004 I fell through a roof whilst working, broke my wrist pretty bad cracked a couple of ribs etc etc. Once I'm all plaster-casted up I get off to the doctors, and he prescribes me Tramadol Hydrochlride 50mg tablets for the pain. Wether its because I'm particularly susceptable to them, or I'm just weak willed I don't know, but the sensation from them was like nothing I'd ever felt before, and it wasnt long before I wa taking more than the prescribed 8 a day (was popping them like smarties in fact). Easy enough to get them, tell the doctor I was going away so needed the script before it was due, tell him the pharmacy was out of stock so I needed another one so I could get them somewhere else, that kind of thing.. Worked for a couple of months, then one day I go to pick up the repeat, and in front of a packed waiting room the dotor chews me out, tells me I'm a drug addict and, worst of all, refuses to write the prescription. Even with the relatively short time I'd been takng them, going from 800+mg a day to nothing without so much as a warning was too much for me to bear, so I set out to find an alternative, and fast.

Afraid to say I know nothing bt nothing about drugs in general, be that 'street' (is that the right word?) or otherwise, but I desperatley needed somthing to make the withdrawl go away. Off to the nearest pharmacy, "whats the strongets painkiller I can buy without prescription please? Paramol you say? Great, I'll take a box of those, thanks". 500mg paracetamol, 7.5mg dyhydrocodiene. Super. Box says take 2 at a time, better have 4, just this once, till I get used to not having the tramadol. Not quite the same hit from them, but pleasant, none the less. Later on in the day, starting to feel a bit edgy again, not a problem, I'll just pop another 4 of those pills... hell, only doing it while I get used to not having the tramadol, it wont hurt...

*18 months pass*

Now taking 5 Paramol at a time, 5-6 times a day. Simple to buy, rotate the pharmac used each day, going in at different times of day to avoid being served by the same peson twice. Got 'backup' packets of em stashed away all over the place, home, work, car, so I never get left without. By this point, i know I have a serious problem - need help - but after my last experience with the gp, really don't feel i can go back there. Solution? ake more pills. feel better in half an hour.

*several years pass*

We're up to the present day now (thank god I hear you say, don't worry, I'll get to the point in a minuite) Now it's 6 paramol just to feel 'normal', 8-10 to get any sort of effect from it, upwards of 7 times a day. Not just a problem anymore, i'm now thinking I should stop wondering where I'll be when I'm 40, cos I wont make it that far. So with every single scrap of courage, I book an appointment, same surgery, different gp. It goes wonderfully. He's non judgemental, supportive, and best of all, he's going to try to help me. Feel on top of the world, know its gonna be a long journey, but I might just get my life back one day. "Come back on friday" he says, "we're going to arrange some councelling with a drug worker, and I'll give you a substitute prescription, so you can get the dyhydrocodiene you need, without the masses of paracetamol every day, and we can work on slowly weening you off it". So relieved.

Back to the gp on friday, and it becomes imeadiatley clear that new doc has been talking to old doc. Now, in his opinion, I'm a regular user of illegal drugs (couldnt be further from the truth), and I'm making the whole thing up just to try and con him in to giving me painkillers to sell or get high on.:eek2: Refusing to do anything at all until he gets the results from the urine sample that "I made neccesary by refusing to tell him what drugs I'm really taking".

It took so much for me to walk in there and tell him whats going on, and I feel almost betrayed by this reaction. Want this to stop so badly, but I think I've been 'labeled' now, and I've no idea who to turn to. Anyone have any suggestions?

thanks for taking the time to read this, sorry if it coes across as being a bit moany, really not meant to!:)


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can't say I totally know what it feels like, because I'm on strong painkillers for genuine use and long term. But I really think you need to just go for it straight without any help. I'm no drugs expert, so finding out whether there would be a real danger to your health just to stop is the first step. Then, if not, it sounds like you'll just have to battle through the withdrawal. If the GP surgery believe you have drug problems they should be offering you drug counselling or something similar. If not you can ask about it, at least showing that's what you want to do. If they don't agree to let you then it may be the right time to try making a self referal to a drugs team. They are normally alongside mental health teams and some allow self referals. Another idea would be to check out drug abuser type charities that run groups or one to one counselling. I know you probably don't count this like all other 'street drugs' but the intention and addiction is pretty much the same.

    I hope that's of some help.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think if you feel you have been treated unfairly, make a complaint to the Patient Liaison Service (PALS)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    First of all I would do what ever you could to stop taking that much paracetamol, you will completely fuck your liver and to be frank I'm surprised you haven't already had problems.

    Secondly I would be completely open with your GP, describe what you take and how often and ask for help. If none is forthcoming them talking to the good people at Release is probably a good idea (www.release.org.uk).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Totally make a complaint about that old GP. Considering the line of work he does, he shouldn't just throw you out like trash, his job is to help. He's not fit to be a doctor in my eyes with an attitude like that.

    Stories like yours should be discussed more in the public domain, people are naive in thinking prescribed and legal drugs aren't highly addictive, or are easy to stop in a heartbeat. I'm not saying you are being naive about it, you obviously aren't.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well done on facing the problem, and best of luck with beating it.

    You have lied to your GP in the past, you 'lie' to pharmacists, but there we go - people are human.

    Your original GP was completely wrong to treat you as he did, but there we go - people are human.

    Your new GP was right to discuss the case, and given the concerns is right to be cautious.

    When the urine sample gets back you'll be due an apology, savour it.
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