one needs to understand that addiction is not dependency -
Medication tolerance is when your body gets used to a drug’s effect, meaning you need higher doses this can happen with a range of drugs and can be normal depending on the drug and the condition
True, to some degree.
For instance, if you have diabetes you are dependent on insulin and that is not an addiction, but it is a physical dependency. A person with diabetes is dependent on insulin in order to stay alive. And there's no problem with that of course, including if you need to increase the dosage or delivery system.
. Dependence is when your body is so used to a drug that you develop unpleasant or dangerous symptoms if you go too long without taking the drug again this can happen with a wide range of medications and should point to a need to seek a different medication
In the case of a body needing and being dependent on a medication such as heart medication or insulin or many others, developing dangerous symptoms if without the drug doesn't point to a need to change medications. It simply means that the body cannot live or function without the needed medication.
. Addiction is a mental health condition where dependence disrupts your life, where you are compulsively seeking and using the drug despite adverse consequences. Here the drug has nothing to do with the medical condition any more the drug becomes the most important thing. Here you need quick and expert help.
Addiction is definitely a mental health issue but is also a physical condition. If it were not, then recovery from addiction would only involve the mind, and there'd be no need for medical supervision, hospitalization, methadone clinics, and so on. The body can become addicted to a drug ( including alcohol of course) and withdrawal can be very dangerous. If withdrawal from it is too severe the withdrawal itself can kill a person. Were addiction purely mental, this would not be the case.
The drug may still have to do with a medical condition if it is pain medication, and the person has taken more and more to deal with the pain, but you are correct that the addiction itself is separate from the need for pain medication.
if a Doctor has prescribed a medication then don't just stop it or stop and start it you could be doing more harm then your original medication condition.
I agree completely. A person shouldn't mess with medication without discussing it with a doctor, and I always suggest to people that they discuss and review their medication with a doctor before changing things.
However, I did not. I simply started doing other things while still taking the pain medication as prescribed.
I think this is the best way to go about it, and it is what I recommend.
The more I worked with my diet and exercise and mental attitude and activities and stress levels and so on, the less I seemed to need the medication. So, rather than waking up and taking a pill and waiting for it to take effect before getting out of bed, I simply got up and started my day and did not take the pain medication until/unless I needed it. Some days, especially at the beginning when I was still experimenting, I took the full amount, but increasingly on other days I would find I only needed half the prescribed amount, or none at all. When I reported this to my doctor he was fully supportive of what I was doing.
Over a couple of years or so this eventually transformed into not needing to take it at all on most days. Currently I take medication only when other things are not working and the pain is too intense for me to just deal with it. And I have a variety of ways of dealing with the pain with medication, including medical marijuana and tramadol and muscle relaxers combined with advil and so on, so I am not always taking the same pain relief medication even when I do. This works for me, and seems wise, and is another thing I advocate. But as always, mileage will vary.
If all of my days were like those few days I have each month when I really need to take something to avoid just spending the whole day doing nothing but enduring serious pain then I would probably take the pain medication more regularly. As you say, quality of life is important. And only you know what you are going through, what you can handle, what you need to do in your days and what you need in order to live a reasonably good quality of life.