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Hi, I'm ten days clean of opiates after having them prescribed to me for over two years, due to spine issues. I'm very afraid here, because in a few days, I'm going to have surgery and there is no other way to deal with the pain of it, then using narcotics the first few days. I am terrified of this. I do not want to start over and i do not want to take these pills. I have thought about cancelling the surgery, but I've done  that so many times, I might not have another opportunity.Has anyone here had little clean time out and faced surgery where you know you will have to take narcotic pain meds again for a few days? I'm trying to come up with a schedule where I take as little of these as possible and alternative with prescription Ibuprofen.I do not want to go back. Can anyone advise who has been through this experience?Thank you

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Hi,I'm not sure what the surgery is you are having, as I guess that would depend on the pain relief used post surgery, here (UK) pre surgery literally as they are putting you to sleep they give you about 5-10 mg of morphine, to help with the pain for when you wake.  Chances are with the anastetic and if you had any pre med also before the surgery also in your system, when you wake you wont be able to distinguish any specific opiate feelings just a general, either drowsyness or if your not effected and sleepy at all due to previous tolerance and being  used to similar feelings you will feel a bit under the influence of something, but again not a definate opiate effect.  With regard to asking them not to give you this pre dose before sedating you there should be an alternative,  I would advise you telephone the ward you need to attend for the surgery or your G.P even asking them to liase with the hospital for you, or if you have a drug worker even better.  If it's you that needs to call explain your concerns and that you would really rather avoid it all together.  Regarding post surgery (after) again depends what the surgery is for what type of pain relief they are likly to offer.  They should be very helpful and supportive but it's best to discuss it before hand so they can arrange what they are going to use as an alternative.

If it's totally unavoidable and the medication is really needed either because the surgery is big, or you try the alternative and find it intolerable pain wise, don't worry about it, seriously it's so short term and the types they use after surgery are so short acting it will be out of your system in under 24 hours.  I realize it's not just wanting it out your system your worried about how it's going to make you feel, will you want to go back to it etc.  The doses they use are usually as low as they can get away with and if you have discussed this they may reduce it further.  I also think the fact your determined to avoid this happening will prevent you slipping back into old habits.  You may slightly crave it for the 1st 24 hours after they stop giving it to you but there will be absolutely no physical withdrawal to contend with, just the thoughts and memory's in your head.  They may be able to make that easier (IF it's even an issue which I doubt) by giving temporary anxiety medication for the day they stop the opiate type of pain relief. 

I have been for surgery's twice since having a previous opiate habit, both times I was given morphine post op, and a few moments after they put it in I asked was it saline to make sure the vein was able to take the anesthetic they were about to put in.  They looked at each other as if to say wtf she should have felt that turning to me saying that in fact it was morphine - so thats how much of an effect your likely to feel IF it comes down to it.  My advice would be as above and to just grit your teeth get the surgery done  especially if you have avoided this in the past and this may be your last shot and take it as it happens you seem to have the determination for it not to become an issue again.

I hope this helps<3

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Thank you so much for responding. It is an oral surgery with full extraction. I have been through this before and it was pain secondary to childbirth. I know what to expect, but am just terrified of taking the med and then going through yet another withdrawal. It is a surgery where narcotic meds will be required the first few days. I'm working on a plan to alternate with Motrin 800 and a friend will be holding my meds and giving as prescribed. I"ll be doing a lot of icing too, as I've heard this really helps. I know the first 72 hours are hell, but I'm concerned that now that I'm two weeks out, I'll be back to square one again. I don't have the 'cravings' that people often talk about. I didn't like the way I felt on it and i was given the prescription for legitimate pain issues, but I know that it doesn't matter what my mind thinks, my body has been dependent. I have a feeling it wouldn't take long for that to happen again. And I don't want it too. I've worked very hard to get off the medication, By myself and no help. Determination is everything

Thank you so much for your encouraging reply. I appreciate it!
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Hey,My surgery was dental too, I guess not many escape drug use with a set of nice pearly whites at the end of the road unless there plastic :'(  You dont have to have opiates after this type of surgery at all, infact it was a battle for me to get  them prescribed for myself, and all I was asking was a weeks worth of codine, not exactly the holy grail of opiate use, but they were pretty tight about prescribing tham.  As I mentioned before they did give me IV morphine moments before the general anesthetic, I'm told this is to help with pain after.  Before you wake they inject your gums with a tonne of local anesthetic, this reduces bleeding and stops them hurting totally...I mean stroke face numbxp so your guaranteed no pain at all for a good few hours.  I think the next day they were sore, no pain but sore and because you still have to eat things would irritate and make them feel even sorer, like mash potato the heat would be what hurt, again no pain just a soreness.  It might not be as bad as your thinking it will be.  I have no idea what you mean by icing sorry idk if it's US slang for something to me it's topping on a cake- I just Goggled it now I feel silly lol  You mean ice packs?  I don't remember needing to do that either.  I think I slept the first few days after as much as I could, but whenever I was awake it really wasn't that bad.  The morton; I think you mean ibrufen- sorry if I didn't mention I'm UK based so everything has different names, anyway this will help as it is an anti inflamitary pain killer.  You can take this in addition to paracetamol, just be careful if you are taking both they don't contain a mixed preparation of the two.  If it's plain paracetamol you can have a max of 8 500mg tablets in a 24 hour period(4 hourly doses), and plain ibrufen I think is six hourly.  If you do find you need stronger pain relief; again the hospital should do this for you and be able to keep it non opiate, if you find you really do need it, just keep it as minimal as you can first few days type of thing.  I'm sure you'll do ok as you clearly know you don't want to repeat old habits so will make yourself avoid slipping back into bad patterns<3

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