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 Post subject: Abjectly Thankful.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:25 pm 
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New member here. Hi all. Have been learning so much from this forum.

Feeling inspired to share a bit of our family's story in case someone can take something useful from it.

My now 20yo D became addicted to heroin while across the country at college. It took awhile for us to figure out what was going on. I wasn't aware at the time of the resurgence in use of heroin, so we were blindsided. Though her fascination with weed in high school and other issues had prepared us for some kind of fall. Almost a year ago I flew out there and drove her cross country in WD to a detox near home. Didn't know anything about anything but we scheduled an appt for therapy/assessment which was over a month's wait to figure out a course of action.

Detox did not use Subs(which I had not heard of at that point, being totally ignorant), just some clonisomething or other. After a few days she came home looking and sounding a bit more alive, and the next day asked to go to an NA meeting with someone she supposedly met at a meeting in the detox center. She disappeared that day. This story is long and very convoluted, too much to tell in one post,but as you can imagine we were filled with heartache and sorrow. I was certain she would die and there seemed nothing we could do to intervene as she was over 18. We heard from her very rarely. An occasional text, or she'd drop by unannounced to ask for a document. She wanted nothing to do with us.

I learned that in June she got a Sub doc, the same doc that the guy she ran off with saw. This doc was an addict's dream doc. No drug testing. No induction. Just come in and ask for your months worth of 24mg/day once a month starting at first visit. So now I started to inform myself about Subs. I was so angry. They were selling most of her Subs which she got almost for free from our health insurance and using that money to buy heroin, saving enough Subs to use between batches of heroin to tide them over low spots. I looked into taking her off our insurance so she couldn't abuse it this way, but wasn't allowed to do it mid-year. I read the SAMSHA protocols for Subs and my sister(a doctor) was preparing to file an official complaint against the Sub doctor. My daughter had been to ER for OD and this doc prescribed her more Subs after that without even an office visit! I hated Subs as a mind-altering drug, as I thought. Just another opiate. Even if used as intended I was pretty skeptical about Sub therapy and when misused like this, well I was livid. So this doc disappeared without notice just before we filed the complaint. Just left. The practice scrambled to find his patients new docs in the network and my D had just seen her new doc for the first time end of September.

A few days later: D called out of the blue asking if she could come stay at home for a few days. The guy she ran off with is much older and has been involved in the legal system for some years. His PO found out he was still using after his recent possession conviction and ordered him to a week of detox. My D would have been stranded on his dad's farm where they lived with no ride to work in town as she doesn't drive (We did not encourage her to get license as a teen because of worries about accidents while impaired.) Of course we were thrilled to see her under any conditions. We knew she would leave again in a few days, but it was a gift to see her at all. We had no expectations.

She brought her Subs with her and started taking them after the first difficult night. She didn't know who to call for drugs as she never dealt with that end of things and decided to not bother, just do the Subs. 3 days after she came home she announced that she was done with drugs. She decided to stay home during recovery and the guy would manage his own recovery.

In the following weeks I watched a miracle take place as my D slowly emerged from behind those tired heavy eyes. I had not seen her since she started smoking weed in 9th grade and the 'drug demon' took over her mind. That is how it always seemed to me, that she was submerged beneath some other personality that had wrested control of her mind, and that I wasn't really talking to her, but that she was in there somewhere.

I am amazed and grateful and just can't even describe how I feel. Like falling prostrate on the ground weeping and laughing and thanking someone. Needless to say I've got whiplash from my 180 on my opinion about Subs. This is a true miracle drug. It has given my D her life back, and our family its life back. If she needs to take it the rest of her life that is fine. She is not at all high from the Subs. She was always incredibly intense/anxious/etc. and it seems the Subs take a bit of the edge off that. She is seeing professionals about getting a dual diagnosis and possibly medication, but it isn't clear if she'll still need that. The Subs may be enough. I see anti-Sub people write about Subs destroying the ability to feel emotion, but that is not the case for my D. She feels the gamut, from midnight weeping about the opportunities she's thrown away and the way addiction stole her life, to relief and thankfulness at what Subs have done for her, to gratefulness and love at our support and the NA community support, and anger at and worry about the guy, who continues to have troubles. She is not blunted in any way.

She finished a 6-week IOP, starts aftercare this week, goes to every NA meeting she can find between working and appts., connecting with old non-using high school friends, getting ready for Xmas. Continuing to recover and more herself every day. Has no desire to use, no cravings. As far as I can tell so far the only downside is the constipation side effect.

This guy has in the past several months- been to detox and then to hospital for seizures/hallucinations during detox, then back home where he continued bouncing between Subs and using various drugs, a stint in hospital for ulcer surgery, then jail for a month on PO hold after DUI (though the narcotics were out of system by the time they got him and only benzos tested+), hospitalized for liver trouble while in jail, released from jail to a one month inpatient rehab whre he is now. This is the same rehab Dr. J used to serve as medical director of- NO Subs. Also No subs allowed while in jail. In a couple of weeks it'll probably be a halfway house for him, and likely no subs there either. My D is begging him to get on Subs after rehab. She has awful nightmares that he dies and she wakes up crying and disoriented. She knows he is in serious danger. But now that he's been completely clean for a few weeks and brainwashed into abstinence only mode, he doesn't want to figure out a way to get on Subs. This is a guy whose parents spent their life's savings on many rehabs and treatments over a dozen years, all failed. And now spending money on another rehab for him.

So that is where we are now. There is a long road ahead yet, but for now it seems to be the right road. I'll keep you posted. Thanks to everyone here for all the useful advice you give and the support you offer your fellow passengers on the ship.

P.S. I'm even thankful to that Subox fraud doc at this point. If she hadn't had Subs from him I don't think she would have made the jump to recovery at our home. If she hadn't had Subs to tide her she might have needed to steal to support her habit and gotten entangled with the law....


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 Post subject: Re: Abjectly Thankful.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:28 am 
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Hey Wonderstruckmom welcome & thank you so much for posting!!! If everyone else who's saw a change in a loved one by being on suboxone would tell their stories, it'd be wonderful. Many ppl I assume think that sub isn't anything but just another drug because they didn't see their loved ones get any better, but actually if an addict isn't ready then even suboxone treatment won't change that. When the addict is truly ready, that's when miracles happen and I'm so happy ur daughter found peace...and u too. My father was the biggest doubter when I first started sub, he thought it was just another one of my schemes to get high. It took a few months for my actions to show him that this medication truly does work, and his faith in sub dramatically changed.

Thank u so much for telling us ur daughters story, reading it made my day :) keep posting and tell ur daughter to visit the forum sometime.

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 Post subject: Re: Abjectly Thankful.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:26 am 
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Hey mom! I'm glad you found us and that your daughter found a way out of her hell with the help of suboxone.

I don't want to mar your excitement and relief with reality, but it's important for you and for her to know a couple of things. Suboxone is a great tool! And I know what I'm talking about since I've been on it myself for 4 years and two months. But it is not a miracle worker. It sounds like your daughter is also finding support through a self-help group and that is awesome. It's going to be necessary for her to keep working at recovery for an addiction that never goes away. Suboxone works so well on cravings, so she won't have to deal with those. All I'm saying is that she cannot become complacent. It would be a good idea for her to see an addiction counselor and work on the reasons that she may have been susceptible to addiction in the first place, and to figure out what triggers her. It is also normal for an addict to stop growing emotionally while they are in active addiction, so she may not be displaying completely mature behavior.

The second thing. You seem to have a good grasp on the fact that suboxone is not universally adored. We are hoping to see a shift among 12 step groups, who have traditionally discouraged their members from using suboxone and methadone. Many groups abide by the idea that suboxone is only trading one drug for another. Step work can be very valuable to any addict, and it can promote major emotional growth. I just want you to make sure that she is not receiving completely contrary information at her NA meetings. Many people on sub don't tell the other people in a 12 step group that they are on it to avoid hearing negativity about it.

I always love hearing a suboxone success story! I just definitely wanted to tell you these things in case you were unaware. Keep us updated on how she's doing! If she has any questions or just wants to talk she is welcome here too. :)

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: Abjectly Thankful.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:05 am 
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Thank you both for your welcome and advice. I need all the advice I can find. Trying to learn whatever I can. Anyone recommend some good books about the recovery process? I've read all the life stories and exposes of the drug rehab industry and critiques of the war on drugs. But so far only find one book that has much info about the actual details of the process. And D brought home a packet from IOP that had useful info.

It's all new to me. I am learning to be patient and take things slowly, let her set the pace. At this point I'm pretty happy for small things. She showers daily, wears clean clothes, flosses, puts her TMJ retainer in its case so the dogs won't chew it, gets up for appts and work on her own, remembers her schedule fairly well and tells me when she needs to go places. Thanks me often and sincerely for rides and other help. Every day I see more improvement. When she first came home it was a shower after 3 days and a nudge from me. Judging from her appearance at the time she came home, it was rather more than 3 days between showers and clean clothes when she was using.

Some things seem inexplicable, leave me shaking my head at the strangeness. Awhile back she couldn't put caps on bottles. It was a safety issue, since I found pills on the ground and worry about the dogs eating them, not just about mess and waste. She told me that at the time she just couldn't put the cap on. She said she would sit at the table staring at the open stool softener bottle, knowing it needed capping, but couldn't lift her hand to do it, felt sort of frozen. Very weird. Anyway, she got past that, and on to to bigger hurdles.

I remember telling her in high school that her weed smoking would arrrest brain development, in terms of emotional maturity, executive function, et al. For some reason my warning did not prove an effective deterrent, ha. Now I often feel like I'm dealing with a toddler, who practically screams in frustration at small things, like losing her hair ties, having her laces all knotted, or having the wrong kind of pen to write with. She still finds it impossible to pick up a phone to accomplish anything, like make an appt. Decision-making is impaired, though she makes some good ones. Deciding to be done with drugs was a pretty good choice. So I am hopeful.

She just got a sponsor in NA who didn't bat an eye when she told her about the Suboxone. She is going to meetings all the time and out to socialize with people at coffee shops and etc after meetings. We spend endless hours talking about all kinds of things. What she did during the past couple of years. Some things she tells freak me out, but I try not to show it. What she is thinking about now, endless analysis.

She tells me Suboxone only works well when the person is ready to quit drugs and wants to be in recovery. I thought that it was the Suboxone that made her want to recover, but I guess it is more complicated. She says she was ready and the Suboxone just makes it a lot easier for her to stay on track.

The guy she was with is assigned by his rehab to tell her each day about one lie he told her. The other day he told that he had misrepresented how he relapsed just before they met. For much of 2014 he was on Suboxone as part of drug court program. That ended in October and at Xmastime he was arrested for possession on 2 occasions. He had told her that he sustained a serious sports injury that required pain meds which caused the relapse. But in fact he relapsed before he got the injury. D says that he must have made a decision that he wanted to use and planned it, going off the Subs first. And that means that he wasn't really committed to recovery, not ready. He was just doing it because it was court ordered, not because he wanted it for himself.

She just finished a 6 week IOP and now started a once a week recovery group run by a therapist. She started seeing her therapist who did the intial pre-IOP assessment, and who she actually used to see a couple of years ago and also is seeing a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction and has a Suboxone license(though she gets her Subs from a different doctor) to investigate possible dual diagnosis. She really liked the IOP a lot, though she was one of the few who were there voluntarily. Our health insurance won't pay for it anymore, unless she relapses, but we're thinking of paying ourselves for one of the other area IOPs, one that many of her NA friends recommend. Does that seem like too much or would it be a good thing? I can't decide. She would like it, says it helps her get up in the morning. Her job is mostly evenings and she has a tendency to sleep in pretty late. Not sure if it's worth $1,000/week.

I did tell her about this forum and all I learn here and recommended she check it out. I hope she does, but she's a bit obsessive and at the moment all her online time is devoted to watching historical and political documentaries. She has a lot of unspecific unfocussed anger and this gives it an easy way to focus and be vented on injustice. Better at that than at me.


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