Episode 92: Addiction, Dependency, and Withdrawal with Dr. Chelsea Liebowitz

After our last Ask the Coach episode, where Tami covered the three FDA-approved medications for fibromyalgia, we received many follow-up questions from listeners.

Questions like: What’s the difference between being addicted and being physically dependent? How can you safely come off your medication? When is it time to reduce or discontinue certain medications?

In today’s episode, Tami is excited to be joined by Doctor of Pharmacy Chelsea Liebowitz, who’s here to clear up all these questions and more. As a pain patient herself, Chelsea spent years seeking answers for her chronic pain, and she knows your pharmacist’s vital role as part of your healthcare team.

In their conversation, Chelsea and Tami talk about what it was like growing up with chronic pain and the medical gaslighting Chelsea experienced, how frustration with a lack of answers led Chelsea on a journey to figure it out herself, the discovery that copper toxicity was behind a lot of her symptoms, it requires determination and grit for people with chronic illnesses to get answers, Chelsea’s training in pharmacy, how pharmacists help patients, why you should build a relationship with a small independent pharmacy, the difference between addiction and physical dependence, most medication is not curative – it helps you manage your symptoms, viewing medicine as a tool to help you accomplish what you want, Chelsea’s tips for tapering off of your medications, how to know when it’s time to taper off your medicines, how coaches can help you to heal medical trauma, removing the stigma of withdrawal, distinguishing between temporary withdrawal symptoms and still needing your medication, empowering yourself around potential side effects, Chelsea’s experience with medical PTSD, things doctors say and what they really mean, and more.

Note: This episode is not meant to be medical advice. Every person and every situation is unique. The information you learn in this episode should be shared and discussed with your own healthcare providers.

About Dr. Chelsea Liebowitz

Dr. Chelsea Liebowitz grew up in Farmington Hills, MI, where she endured her fair share of chronic illnesses. Despite constantly feeling ill, she was determined to find answers and so went to the University of Michigan in search of them. Three degrees later, the answer wasn’t found in school classrooms; it was found when she learned to trust herself. Chelsea now coaches other patients with chronic jaw pain and has a vision to upgrade the health system to provide better service to those struggling with chronic pain. She is the author of “TMJ Is Ruining My Life: Managing Jaw Pain so You Can Eat Normally” and “Life with a Service Dog: Make an Informed Decision to Get a Psychiatric Service Dog“.

Books: TMJ Is Ruining My Life: Managing Jaw Pain so You Can Eat Normally & Life with a Service Dog: Make an Informed Decision to Get a Psychiatric Service Dog
FB Community: Cozy Cove Life – Pain Management Coaching

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Listener Shoutout

“I came across your podcast three days ago because I had gotten into a slump and wondered if there were any self-help fibromyalgia podcasts out there and I have been binge-listening to them ever since. So many of the things you say ring so very true and I have already shared your podcast with two other of my fibro friends. I really want to say a big, big thank you, and I’m so determined to be where you are now at pain and medication free.”

~ Kindest regards, Jo from the UK

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