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I was in a motor vehicle accident in 2011 and have been taking pain medication ever since. I visit a pain management centre once a month and I receive my pain medication from a pain specialist. I have insurance that pays for 80%, and my MVA case has now been settled with the insurance company.
The pain medication is for chronic pain from severe whiplash which damaged ligaments in my neck and sciatic nerve pain.

I was currently taking 60 mg of extended release Morphine (Kadian Sulfate) and 4 Percocet 5/325 per day for break through pain.
I have been taking this medication for 2.5 yrs alternating the slow release meds with Oxycodone and now back to Morphine, and really cannot tell anymore what my real pain level is from my original injury. When I try to taper down my medication I have no idea if the pain that I am experiencing is from the withdrawal or from my original injury.
I really would like to stop taking all this medication especially the slow release and just take something fast acting when I absolutely need it.

I was easily able to drop down to 40 mg of the extended release Morphine but am still taking 4 Percocet per day. Now I realize that is not a lot of pain medication compared to what some people are taking. But I hate being depended on it and I fear that something could happen and I might not be able to get my medication and will be forced into terrible withdrawals. It seems to affect me right in my bones through my whole body. It is a horrible unbearable pain with extreme anxiety and that was just from trying to stop taking the medication cold turkey for two days. This is how withdrawals will affect me trying to get off this medication, as everyone is different.
And at my (mature) age I really don't think I can go through that. So I am going to try and taper down gradually.
I will have to next go from 40 mg to 20 mg of the extended release Morphine and that will be difficult. My goal is to stop taking the extended release altogether and to reduce the Percocet for break through pain from 4 per day to 2 per day on average. That way I will have extra from my prescription for days when I am in really bad pain. And because I am not taking it every day, I will not build up any significant tolerance to it.
I really don't want to tell my pain specialist yet what I am doing until I know for sure I am going to be able to do it. Because once I tell him, he will reduce my medication significantly and expect me to follow through.
I also would like to stock up a little bit for days when I am in really bad pain. Once I have things under control, I will tell my doctor of my plan to taper off.

I want to have enough fast acting pain medication on hand for bad days, but on good days to not take anything to give my body and liver time to recover from the days I am taking pain medication. I do not want to take pain medication continually (extended release) and have my liver constantly bombarded with it. Anyway, that is my goal.

Oh and by the way, in Canada pain clinics do not do random drug testing, and they do not require you to sign a contract. They apparently are not as strict as I am hearing they are in the USA as far as coming in a few days early for your prescription to be renewed or asking to have stronger pain medication.
We do, however, have to make an appointment and physically come to the doctor's office every single time to get our prescription each month, as narcotics in Canada cannot be phoned in or repeated (filled more than once from the same prescription). But we all have basic government health care insurance in this country so we do not have to pay for those doctor visits out of pocket.
And we are allowed to come 4 or 5 days early to get our prescription for the next month. In fact, the doctors encourage that to make sure you do not run out. The only thing is if we try to fill the prescription more than a week early, the pharmacist will get a notification when they put it in the system and they will just have to phone the doctor to get his ok.
We are also allowed to go to a different pharmacy each time we get our prescription filled. That way if one pharmacist is rude to us, we can go to a different pharmacy next time. Most people like to stick to one pharmacy that they like. I personally like to go to the same pharmacy so the pharmacist will get to know me.
There are certain things that doctors have been trained to look for to spot patients who exhibit drug seeking behavior, and asking for a specific pain pill may be one of them especially if you are new and the doctor doesn't know you very well. If you are new, you really have to be careful as they are looking for red flags.
I used to run out a couple days early and believe me it is no fun, and I was taking too much over the counter medication trying to make it through those couple of days. Even though it was innocently just from simply not keeping close enough track, I still did not want to tell my doctor as he was a no nonsense kind of guy and it would have raised all kinds of red flags. So I started putting that day's supply of medication in a separate pill bottle and it made all the difference in the world. Once I started doing that I never ran out early again. It helped me keep better track of what I was taking on a daily basis.

Doctors put you on these pain meds for years and you become physically depended on them. It is hell to get off them and pharmaceutical companies know this and are counting on it. It is all about mega profits and this is why the doctors push this stuff. And then the moment something goes wrong, they cut you off for selfish career reasons and you are left on your own to go through horrible, sometimes life threatening, withdrawals. I have read so many threads about patients being cut off because they said or did the wrong thing sometimes for very naiive or innocent reasons. I realize most of these are USA based but that fear of it happening here in Canada is enough to make me want to not be dependant on any of this medication.

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