People with chronic pain inevitably stop taking their pain medicine. Some people do require long term or lifetime use. When it is time to stop, it is a good idea to have a plan for withdrawal. Having a plan for withdrawal of pain medicine can drastically improve your chances of coming off them easily and without added pain.
It does not take very long to become physically dependent on opiate pain medicine. If there is a history of alcoholism or addiction then it becomes even easier for the brain to become dependent again. Opiates are very strong and innately create pathways for the brain's dependence. This is why it is necessary to have a plan for withdrawal of pain medicine. Talk to your doctor about the difference between dependence and addiction.
Talk to your doctor about setting a stop date. Although there are chronic pain conditions that require ongoing pain management, some people are taking medication while waiting for surgery or during a course of chiropractic care of physical therapy. Setting a goal to stop pain management care after meeting certain criteria should be in your arsenal of coping with chronic pain.
Medications for withdrawal of pain medication
It is important to understand that having a plan to withdraw from opiate pain medicine will decrease the likelihood of getting sick. By planning the withdrawal far enough in advance you can use a medication called Suboxone, Subutex, or Buprenorphine. Using Suboxone to stop Oxycontin or other opiate pain medication can help a lot. Suboxone and Buprenorphine are the same medicines. Subutex is similar, but it usually used right at the beginning of the withdrawal period. Suboxone/Buprenorphine can only be prescribed by some doctors, so you may need a referral. This can also be used to help people stop using Methadone. Some people can also use medical marijuana to withdraw from pain medication.
Symptoms of opiate withdrawal
Have a plan to manage pain during and after the withdrawal. People who are decreasing their medication can often have withdrawal symptoms that can range from nausea, vomiting, body aches, sweating, shakiness, insomnia, runny nose, sneezing, and many other symptoms. Using a taper to withdraw from opiate pain medication will prevent many problems. Suddenly stopping should not be your opiate withdrawal plan. This will create physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor can support your withdrawal process and taper you off the medication slowly so you do not experience awful withdrawal problems. Utilize your support during this time.
The withdrawal process can trigger more emotions than the use of pain medication. If you have chronic pain, use pain medicine and have had dependence problems in the past the withdrawal process can be triggering. Some people do not experience problems until the withdrawal process begins. Watch out for emotional problems.