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I am clueless how to help my son
I am clueless how to help my son
I have a 26 y.o. son who admitted to a 4+yr drug addiction. He smoked marijuanna quite often prior to getting hooked on pain pills, but he doesn't consider that a problem. He has been pretty honest with us over the past month. Has tried detoxing cold turkey and with suboxone in the past, but goes back to roxys (says he has used up to 15 per day-crushes & snorts them . He also has used xanax, valium, soma, methadone intermittently- at times to assist with detox, and others just to use b/c he is an addict. He also smokes cigarettes, but has an aversion to alcohol for some reason. About 31/2 wks ago he detoxed with methadone for a few days, hated the methadone, then went back to using roxy's for a few days, and decided he truly needed to stop screwing up his life. He says he's been off everything for about a week and a half now. He is still getting leg cramps, nausea at intervals, and has major problem with insomnia. In his delusional way of thinking- he thinks he can take some xanax to help with the insomnia. But he hasn't done that yet. He has been using Melatonin 5 mg at bedtime, but without much success. He also said he can't turn his mind off. I have been an RN for 30+ yrs, but not in the field of addiction or psych. I do believe he has a mood disorder, possible depressive issue, maybe rapid cycle bi-polar. I know he must have seratonin /dopamine imbalance d/t prolonged drug use. His moods are either very high or very low. But not sure if this is from long hx of drugs or underlying factor. I inquired about the Florida Detox center in Tarpon Springs. They boast of a 9% relapse rate @ 9 mos, but want $19,000 for the treatment. How do normal people get family members healthy and whole from this dreaded problem. I see drug addiction as a symptom to an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. He does not work right now, has no health insurance, we are so limited in what we can do financially to get him help. I cry myself to sleep most nights. When he is not on drugs- he is one of the most gentle, sweet spirited individuals. I know he wants to break this stronghold in his life, but he lacks the tools. He has been raised in a loving, Christian home and despite all he has gone through- we love him unconditionally. We are desperate to get him the help he needs and deserves. Can anyone tell us how to handle the symptoms he is having from the detox? And can anyone suggest where we can take him for help?
We are so grateful for your insight and counsel. Thanks for being there for those who are silently suffering.
Originally Posted by susie22728
I'm very sorry to hear about the pain that you and your family are going through. I also feel for your son. With some of the underlying issues you have talked about it seems that drug abuse coincides with it. There are a couple of home detox recipes available the one used the most is called the Thomas Recipe, you can Goggle it or it's on drugs.com.
But seeing the list of opiates, Benzos, and traditionally detox methods this may not be the safest route. The biggest thing about addicts is we are all liars. We tell you what you want to hear.
What the behavior you explained that he is going through is typical for opiate withdrawal. Seeing that he has abused Xanax or other Benzos (which usually help with sleep and Anxiety) I would stay away from them. The one thing that helped me tremendously was Clonidine. Being in the medical field I'm sure your aware of it. This does relieve alot those symptoms he is feeling. Not all but some. It is B.P. Rx that's is commonly used now for detoxing people from opiates.
Unfortunately there is no easy way through it. If he was abusing Methadone and Suboxone he could be in for a long drawn out detox. Methadone withdrawals can last for weeks to months.
If he was seriously abusing the Benzos then that's a whole other beast. That can be more severe than opiate detox.
I feel your pain and his but there is no easy way through it. What you have to do is be strong and take care of yourself first.
I will pray for you and yours tonight
I feel for you, Sue - addiction is a horrific, complex disease - and witnessing your child struggling with it must be heartbreaking. I have a few suggestions to offer, and hope that something might help you.
First off, for your OWN sake, I strongly suggest you attend some meetings of Alanon or Naranon. (Alanon is more prevalent, easier to find meetings. And you will not be the only one there with a child with drug [vs alcohol] issues.) These are groups for the loved ones around an addict. It will help YOU tremendously. It involves the same 12-step recovery program as AA or NA. You need the support of others who have been in your shoes. You also need to learn how your behavior may be influencing your son's behavior. Usually, our loved ones are our caretakers and enablers, even with their best of intentions to NOT be one. Alanon or Naranon will help you to develop healthier ways of interacting with him.
Next, is your son willing to attend AA or NA? Loads and loads of help there! Even though he is not using alcohol, the program of AA can help. AA and NA have the same 12 step program, one merely substitutes the word "addiction" over the word "alcoholism." Same disease, same recovery method. Personally, I prefer AA - I find longer term recovery there, and less of a chance for a newcomer to tempt another newcomer back into drugs, which is a concern.
Your son is coming off some potent drugs, as you, as a nurse realize. Benzo withdrawal, in my opinion, is the toughest one. But I have witnessed some horror stories with methadone, through my work. Here is the link for the Thomas Recipe - BUT - ignore "step one"!! http://www.drugs.com/forum/featured-...wal-35169.html Do not utilize the benzos in his detox, as that has been one of his issues. These techniques may help some of his symptoms. Frequent hot baths may help the leg cramps AND help with sleep. Melatonin is fine for him to use; he may also benefit from natural remedies, such as kava kava or valerian root - both available in health food stores.
Since your son is 26 and unemployed, he may be eligible for some state or federal aid in health care. I suggest you research that. Also, county mental health facilities often are aware of sliding scale (or free) detox programs he may be eligible to use. I was indigent when I got clean, and was blessed that the facility helped me to hook up with the state medicaid program, after I was admitted. I did 6 months of intensive, in-patient treatment, at no charge. That was in Massachusetts. I now work at a treatment facility in Maine, and we do the same for our clients. It will take some research, but it is definately worth looking into.
You are right in presuming that the drugs are only a symptom. We do have underlying issues that led us into addiction, and these are things that must be addressed, if we are to stay clean. The 12-steps of AA or NA are invaluable to us to work through these issues. Many of us in recovery have also relied on individual or group counseling, to get into the meatier stuff.
I, personally, would not jump to ANY conclusions about the possibilities of a mood disorder as yet. He is still detoxing. Detoxes off methadone and benzo abuse are long, difficult processes - and subject to a long road of mood swings. Don't rush to a doctor for diagnosis, as his body and mind needs TIME clean, before the true self emerges. It is NOT uncommon for an addict to be self-medicating their moods via their drug addiction; just try to be patient and wait before you seek out help via medication, or you may never know for sure if he truly needs it.
By the way, I was just re-reading your post - and wanted to mention that marijuana is not an 'innocent' drug for him to use. An addict to one drug is in danger with ANY mood-altering, mind-altering drug. To continue the pot now, without other drugs, would be like leaving the key in the door to his addiction. Pot does not mix with recovery.
God bless - and keep posting... you are not alone. You may find other helpful threads on the "Need to Know" forum on Drugs. com.
Hugs from another mom,