Sober and on Pain Meds??

Dear Todd,

I have been clean for over 37 years, Now my health has deteriorated from chronic illness to such a degree that I require painkillers to do even simple functions like writing, dressing myself and walking. So far I have managed my intake of oxycodone to no more than absolutely necessary (half the prescribed dosage) to alleviate the actual pain, but i can already see the point of no return in my future where physical pain relief will turn into mental pain relief and addiction. And here is the horror: at this time in my life, addiction does not seem like such a big deal when compared with the life I lead now. Any thoughts?


I know plenty of folks who use pain meds because they have a medical need. Too often in the addiction community we hear people being forced off of their meds as taking meds in recovery is seen as relapse. To me this is simply absurd – I suspect many of these same folks have used pain meds at some point in their life and wouldn’t see their use as relapse. As we know many things are not black or white, there are shades of grey. You didn’t mention anything about wanting to quit taking meds so I won’t even go there. If you’re simply asking me what I think, I will let you know that it sounds like you have a legitimate medical need. I know a few pharmacists who would say that addiction or relapse isn’t an issue if pain is a recurrent factor.

My sense is that we can do what we want as long as we go in with our eyes open.


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