If your oxycodone or hydrocodone addiction came about because you were trying to deal with some kind of chronic pain, you face a dilemma as you consider your options for addiction treatment. Many doctors at medication maintenance clinics will tell you that it does little good to treat a hydrocodone addiction if you can’t get rid of the pain that caused it.
Nobody ever begins taking pain pills with the intention to become addicted. After all, they are simply taking medication that was prescribed by the family doctor. How harmful can that be? We’ve told the story of one woman whose hydrocodone addiction began when she had a dental procedure, followed by a painful dry socket. What did her dentist tell her to do? Take more pills, he said.
In fact, most doctors will send you off to get the routine diagnostic tests for your condition, they’ll tell you to do some muscle-strengthening exercises, or maybe they even prescribe six to eight weeks of physical therapy. But when the pain persists beyond that time, they will cut you off from your medication or prescribe something else that really doesn’t take care of the pain.
Who’s Responsible for Hydrocodone Addiction?
The companies that manufacture opiate pain medications spent a lot of money marketing their products to physicians. They did a good job convincing both physicians and the public that Vicodin, Norco, Percocet, Percodan, and other opiate medications provide excellent therapy with minimal risk of oxycodone or hydrocodone addiction. While those medications at one time were reserved for people with terminal illnesses such as cancer, it has become routine for doctors to prescribe them for simple postop care or minor traumatic injuries. And then people get hooked.
If you’re stuck on a merry-go-round of pain and addiction, then a pain clinic might be next on your agenda. Some addiction treatment doctors are looking closely at the assessments of those who come in for treatment and realizing they’ve got to treat the pain even before they wean the patients off the pain pills. The doctors at both the pain clinic and the methadone program will communicate about your progress. It represents the best kind of coordinated medical care.
What Can a Pain Clinic Do for You?
Doctors who work in pain clinics dedicate time beyond the normal required medical residency programs in order to understand pain and its mechanisms. Pain that endures for less than six months is identified as acute. Once it continues beyond that time, it’s called chronic.
The patient who is suffering develops a close relationship with pain’s first cousins—fatigue and depression. And it is very disheartening to move around the house feeling unwell and with a limited sense of independence. Family members become impatient with you. Your relationships with them crumble. Your self-respect diminishes, and you end up taking more opiate medication to quiet both the pain and the despair.
If you’ve been struggling with treatment for hydrocodone addiction, stop and take a new approach. If the doctor at the methadone program does not refer you to a pain clinic, ask him to do so. If you’ve had tests related to your condition, the pain clinic will request those records and will not require you to do repeat testing, unless the doctor wants to know if your condition has worsened.
Pain clinic treatment evaluates you as a whole person, including your overall physical condition, your knowledge of nutrition, your social life, and restoration of functional activities that will make you feel well again. As long as the pain clinic doctor reports that you are following through with medical orders, the doctor at the methadone clinic will get you started on treatment for oxycodone or hydrocodone addiction.
There are many new theories in both pain and addiction treatment, so don’t give up. You can return to a state of feeling well and capable throughout the day and enjoying life once again. Ask the staff at the methadone clinic for additional information so you can get started.