he has a beautiful family and a great job. he has had back problems in the past but no longer has a script and seeks them out. He needs help before he starts losing everything. His wife has no idea. what kind of direction can i give him?
Why is he not seeing a pain management specialist? Did he lose his insurance? Or is it a matter of him taking more than pain management is willing to give so he has turned to the streets? Is this more a matter of controlling pain or do you think he is addicted to medications? Answers to these questions will help me determine which way to advise you. Seeking drugs off the street is a dangerous and expensive habit. Cheaper and stronger drugs like heroin are even more dangerous. He either needs to manage his pain with the help of a pain management specialist (usually better than letting a primary care doc treat pain) or he needs to face the fact that he is losing control and get help with his addictions. If he is turning to the streets for medications, it is likely he is slipping down the addictions pathway because there is no one to really control and oversee his supply. Is he asking for help? Does he see that he has a problem or is he denying there is a problem? For someone to recover, they need to first face the fact they they have a problem and have lost control over their use. Some people have to hit "rock bottom" and some have their eyes opened sooner. He has to WANT to make a change. It doesnt usually work unless the person themselves wants to change their behaviors. Sometimes a family intervention can help. Sit all the people important to him down with him. Acknowledge the fact that you all know he has pain so his pain is validated. Tell him that you are all concerned about his purchase of meds from "freelance" pharmacists-that it is not only dangerous and expensive but that you are worried for him. If he is caught by the police, he could lose all that is dear to him like his beautiful family. See if you can talk him into seeking professional help. If he will admit he is addicted then an addictionologist might be the best first step. There are specialists who treat both addiction and pain. This type of professional will be the best to seek out. If he rails at the expense, point out how expensive buying from the streets is, not to mention the danger factor and that you can never be sure that you are actually getting the medication you think you are. He is not the first person to find themselves in this kind of predicament, nor, unfortunately, will he be the last but help is available and it is there for the asking. Try talking to him and point out all that he stands to lose and point out that his family needs him. There are many options for pain control out there. There are quite a few people on this site who have been in the same predicamant that your son is in and hopefully they will chime in to help but what I told you is one way to start. You can most likely expect resistance at first but be persistant and give him time to see his behaviors are not in his best interest or his families best interest. This will be a long and difficult road for you all. Offer all the support you can and pray, if you pray. All the best to you and I hope your son gets the help he needs. Pain is a horrible state to live in and addiction is even worse. It takes a lot of courage and perseverance to overcome but it can be done!
I would also recommend that he and his wife and you try going to some support meetings like Al-anon or Nar-anon. Meeting for families will give you the coping mechanisms you need and teach you ways to avoid enabling him in his use. It also puts you in touch with others going through all the same things your family is going through and sometimes knowing how others are coping is a great comfort and a great resource for ideas. It is also more or less free and it is a start.
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