Are you being refused pain medication that your doctor has prescribed previously? Continue reading to learn what you can do if your doctor is refusing to prescribe you pain medications and how the Coleman Network for Addiction Medicine can help you on the road to recovery.
Doctors Prescribing Pain Medications
Although pain medication is still appropriately prescribed for post-surgical procedures, prescription habits have changed dramatically. Unfortunately, it is usually a little too late. Still, doctors and other providers have realized that patients do not need to be prescribed narcotic pain medication for an extended amount of time after surgery.
Ashley is a mother of 2 girls who also owns her ballet studio and is constantly on the go between teaching classes and taking care of her little ones.
Over the years, Ashley suffered from many back and feet problems from dancing professionally. As a result, she had several surgeries to fix her back pain and allow her to continue dancing.
Like many others, she was over-prescribed oxycodone and got to the point where she didn’t know where the physical dependence began, and her pain stopped. However, she knew that if she didn’t take 30mg oxycodone three times a day, she would experience several withdrawal symptoms.
Ashley Was Prescribed Roxicodone
At first, her primary care provider prescribed Ashley 90 pills a month of 30mg Roxicodone. She was cautious about following the instructions and never abused them. Illegal substances never showed up in her urine, and even though Delta 8 was legal in her state, she never considered it.
She was a wife, a mom, and a business owner. She had a reputation to protect and children to raise, so that lifestyle wasn’t even on her radar.
Ashley was waiting for the day that her doctor would sit her down and tell her she needed to stop taking her pain medication. She was dreading it but figured it needed to happen at some point. Unfortunately, what happened instead, was a scenario she didn’t consider.
Ashley’s Doctor Stopped Practicing
Her refill was due in 2 weeks when she received the phone call from her doctor’s office. The receptionist told her that her doctor was no longer working at the office, and they weren’t expecting new patients. However, the receptionist just mentioned, “I will mail you a list of providers in the area. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.”
Ashley started panicking.
There has been only one other time when Ashley couldn’t take her pain medication. The other ballet instructors were sick, so Ashley needed to teach every class. It was halfway through her second to last class of the day when she realized that she didn’t take it during lunch.
The classes were right on top of each other, so there wasn’t any way to leave in between. As a result, she barely made it through her last class before experiencing body aches, sweats, and stomach cramps. She had no idea that she would go into withdrawal until that point when she didn’t have access to her pain medication.
Searching for a Doctor for Pain Medication
She could get one more month’s worth of pain medication, and she immediately began to search for another doctor.
It didn’t occur to her that it would be difficult to find another doctor who would prescribe her medication.
The physician she talked to first wanted to cut her down to the point that Ashley would constantly be withdrawing.
The second doctor has their license removed for mismanagement.
Ashley’s husband knew of a fellow trainer at the gym who was prescribed pain medication, but he wasn’t using it. The trainer knew it was hard to find a provider, so he didn’t mind helping Ashley.
Her Pain Medication Became Too Expensive
She and her husband knew that this wasn’t legal, but they thought they didn’t have a choice. Her frustration with the medical system and fear of functioning justified the action in her head. Unfortunately, the arrangement was costly because her insurance wasn’t covering the medication.
Ashley Wanted to Stop Taking Oxycodone
She truly wanted to get off taking her oxycodone and knew she needed to make a change. She tried googling different remedies that might help her with the withdrawal. She even tried getting admitted into the ER, but because of Covid, they were not treating in-person patients. The ER wrote her a script for nausea and clonidine. But instead, she bought Suboxone® from another trainer at the gym.
More like this: The Truth About Suboxone®
Ashley Finding the Coleman Institute
When she was researching, Ashley found the Coleman Network for Addiction Medicine. She was hesitant because it sounded too good to be true. But the end result was exactly what she was looking for.
The treatment checked off everything that she needed:
- She would miraculously be done with her detox in less than a week
- Cheaper and safer than a hospital stay
- Immediate availability
- Outpatient detox
- She was guaranteed not to be put on another drug which caused physical dependence when she was finished
- Able to spend nights at home with her family
- Her husband could be with her the whole time
- Her insurance might even cover the cost
- She would receive case management and medication for a full six months
More like this: Accelerated Opiate Detox (AOD) FAQs
Accelerated Opioid Detox
Ashley was thriving when she came in for her third naltrexone implant. When we talked about how she was doing, she was happy to share. She mentioned that she was dancing and teaching just fine, and she was no longer worried about running out of her pain medication.
More like this: Taking the First Step in Your Recovery Journey
At the Coleman Network for Addiction Medicine, we focus is getting people off substances that can cause physical dependence, such as kratom, Roxicodone®, fentanyl, Dilaudid®, hydrocodone, tramadol, oxycodone, Vicodin®, heroin, Oxycontin®, Suboxone®, methadone, and other medications like it, and then starting them on long-acting naltrexone.
Naltrexone creates a blockage to prevent any other opioid from taking up residence by resting on the opioid receptors. Our patients will not experience physical cravings because they are covered with naltrexone.
There is no withdrawal when the naltrexone wears off in about eight weeks. The Coleman Method program provides three naltrexone implants that allow six months of opioid blockage. Most of our patients opt to continue taking naltrexone for an even more extended period.
What happened to Ashley is not uncommon. Buying pain medication illegally rather than their local pharmacy or medical provider is a situation that many of our patients have found themselves in, And, like Ashley, the majority of our patients can finally stop taking their (opioid) pain medication and do experience the pain that they had previously been taking medication for.
Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia (OIH) is the paradoxically increased pain sensitivity from prolonged use of opiates to treat pain. Opioids mask the reality that the original injury has healed. While this isn’t always the case, we see this quite often.
It is a terrifying and confusing situation to be in. Patients have put on buprenorphine products like Suboxone® too often to fix the problem quickly. Many of the patients I have seen over the years don’t want to be on medication but fear the withdrawal from not taking it.
If you have questions after researching about Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), please call us. There is a lot of information to take in, but we want to help.
Take care and stay safe in the meantime.
Joan Shepherd, FNP