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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:52 pm 
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What's different this time is she has pleaded for help and can't get it. I think she is taking over the counter sleeping pills to get her through the day. She has not worked in 11 yrs and has no insurance and no income. I am her mother, single, age 65, retired 2 yrs. ago and am on SS retirement and pension. I have had legal guardianship of her 3 children since 2003 when her husband died of testicular cancer. She has never smoked, never drank and never taken anything before this started. She had a back injury just before her husband's diagnosis and her "doctor," a retired anesthesiologist turned pain specialist gave her Vicoden. As his cancer spread, the more she had to cope with and depended on pain killers long after she needed them. By the time we discovered it, she was taking 90 Vicoden every 5 days.
At one point she was even taking his morphine. The day of his burial she wrote two prescriptions from a stolen pad and was arrested and detoxed in jail. She lost the house, both cars and nearly everything they owned. Medical bills were over $1.2 million. She got 2 yrs. probation and a court ordered county drug rehab program which was totally ineffective. I think she should have been treated for depression right from the start. I had to watch her like a hawk for fear of relapsing.
They all came to move in with me and we sought help from our local community behavioral health facility. They put her on Suboxone 8 mg. two times a day. No counseling, just Suboxone. Her inability to pay for these started a bad check writing/stolen debit card spree from my purse at night.
She developed strange habits like sleeping all day with blankets on the windows, then awake from 10PM to 6AM. We would pass each other on the steps when I would begin my day shift with the children. She would eat tons of powdered sugar donuts, sunflower seeds, and any food was broken into tiny pcs. She would obsess over the kids laundry and wash them with her hands while they were in the machine, one pc at a time. She became totally unavailable and unresponsive to the children needs and it was heartbreaking to see them hurt over and over again. She has no friends and no family member contact. They don't even want her in their house. I imagine her guilt is overwhelming.
Family interventions and well intentioned attempts at detoxing her, caused her to relapse 5 times now. She has gone through all 18 doctors with Suboxone waivers/certification in the 10 mi. radius of our home and their credentials are geriatric oncologists, internal medicine and holisitic shrinks with a MD degree. She usually writes them a bad check and then can't pay for the fees, then moves on to a new one. She is 5'1" and weighs 90 lbs. I had her arrested for taking my checks and she detoxed again in jail. A schizophrenic inmate who got out early bailed her out after 30 days using her accrued SSI money. She stayed sober another month after that and gained weight--she looked great. The agreed plea was for the judge to order her into rehab in lieu of jail time but it has been a year now and her trial has been postponed 6 times now due to a complete turnover in the public defender's office.
Desperate to stay on her Suboxone, she started pawning everything she could get her hands on, even her son's new computer and the girls IPODs. She went to my other daughter's house and took her jewelry. She filed a report. She went to a neighbor's house in good faith and stole their jewelry. They filed a report. I've had all my jewelry in a safety deposit box for several yrs. I keep no cash in the house and sleep with my debit card in my bra. She has been on one 8 mg. sublingual Suboxone film, which she has been cutting into fourths.
She's only awake now 4 hrs. per 24 hr day, so I believe she is taking sleeping pills. Tell me - will she end up like Michael Jackson? Why does this drug have such a grip on her, even on this low dose? Believe me, I've searched her purse and every hiding place and found nothing but 1 Suboxone film cut in fourths. Even at this dose her pupils are still pinpoints.
There is a waiting list to get into the local YWCA Recovery Program. Should I not wait and have her committed?
I really need to know how I can help her through this.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:01 pm 
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Wow.....you know what? I'm just totally at a loss....

You only think she is using the Suboxone, right? People just don't normally act like this on Suboxone. I mean, after this long on Sub, it's so hard to think it's making her feel anything that would be so lovely that she'd exhibit such addict behavior. I'd think her behavior points toward her using something else or something in addition to Sub, but I know you are fairly sure she's only on the Sub. It almost sounds to me like someone on Methamphetamine or something, because of her weight loss, her obsessive cleaning of the clothes, and her erratic sleeping (sleeping during the day). I've got no clue. I feel for you because you are taking on all the responsibility and I feel horrible for her children. Maybe there is some kind of mental illness, such as major depression, going on here. Just a thought. Maybe she hasn't been able to grieve her husband and is taking whatever she can to escape?? The over-the-counter sleep aids make me suspect that. It's also weird to me that her pupils look funny. I used to take 32 mg and I don't remember my pupils looking weird, other than when I was new to Sub. Plus, as you drop your dose, like she has, your pupils shouldn't still be small. If anything, from what I know, they should get larger from w/d. Sheesh....maybe someone else can actually help you figure this out.

I'm glad you're on here and hopefully you can get some decent feedback. Your grand kids are so lucky to have you! What does your daughter say when you question her about all this stuff? Why does she seem to think it's okay that you are taking care of her children while she sleeps? Sub does make many people sleep more than normal. I used to sleep a good ten hours on high doses of Sub, but I never slept all day and stayed up all night and I was fully able to take care of my own kids and my own house, etc.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:11 pm 
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Hello and welcome to the forum. This sounds like a horrible situation and I'm sorry you are going through it. As much as being on Sub seems to be causing side effects, what concerns me is that you said when she got off of it she relapsed 5 times. She may be a candidate for very long term maintenance. It sounds like what she really needs is a GOOD doctor who can monitor what else she may be taking and how she is taking her medicine. She may also need some other psychiatric care based on some of the behaviors you described which are NOT typical Sub side effects (the eating small pieces and washing individual items of clothing could indicate OCD).
Don't be fooled into thinking that 8mg of Sub is a "low dose". For pain, Sub doses are measured in micrograms (i.e. 80mcg), so she is on 8000 micrograms, which is considered "high dose buprenorphine". She may think that 8mg isn't enough, having been on much higher doses, but it is a very common dose for maintenance, and usually sufficient to ward off any symptoms of withdrawal. I'm wondering if she is taking over the counter medications because she THINKS that her dose of Sub isn't going to be enough.
Back to the doctor part. It sounds like she should be eligable for Medicaid, so if you can find a Sub doctor who will take Medicaid (I know it isn't easy) you won't have the problem of her alienating herself by writing bad checks. I believe that with some work you can even get Medicaid to cover the medication itself. I hope some of the other members here who are on Medicaid will respond with more specific advice.
In the meantime you are in a tough spot. You didn't say how much influence you have over her, or whether she listens to you. If she will listen, have her take the entire 8mg in one dose in the morning. This might allow her to be able to be more wakeful during the day and sleep at night. Many of us have reported Sub making us sleepy, but if you get out of the house and stay active it really helps. Being active during the day then in turn helps us sleep at night.
I wish you the best of luck and please continue to post and let us know how it is going. Also, maybe you could introduce her to the forum. If she were to post herself she might share what other meds she is taking and what her thoughts are. It's really good for addicts to talk to other recovering addicts.
Lilly


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 Post subject: Re: your daughter
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:57 am 
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Hello and welcome.I am sorry for your very hard times.As a mother I sympathize with you.And totally agree with laddertripper.This does "not" sound like a quest to get more suboxone at all.The behavior sounds like another drug for sure.Are you certain she is still taking suboxone at all? I ask because ,as you know it blocks other opiates ,so it appears ,something else is going on. As much as she is deeply hurting you and destroying everything in her life...she is screaming for help and is in total desperation.She is suffering badly.I know reading that absolutely breaks your heart.Please have hope that people have recovered from this! And your girl is not the 1st to display this behavior,however it is the earmark of another drug she is taking.I would be very,very surprised to hear it was suboxone..unless she was in sub. withdrawal.Even then it is a long shot due to the length of time this is going on. Try to get your self to al-anon or somewhere you can identify and talk with other people experiencing the same thing.Take good care of yourself.It sounds like at this point any means necessary to get her some separation and safety should be done,be it psych ward etc.just to get a hold of her and hopefully get her when she is down and out and yes mad and enraged at you,thats all normal.But she needs a breather and hopefully someone will get her to be willing,if just for a moment to get help.You are in my prayers.This is just my opinion and what I would do if it were my own,really putting my self in your shoes.Please dont do anything alone! reach out for help.HUGS


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:24 am 
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I agree with the others that what you're describing does not sound like anything related to suboxone use. But I will say this, even at lower doses, some people do have pinpoint pupils from suboxone. I've known many people who experience this. So don't make too much of this as it relates to sub use. HOWEVER - it could indicate other types of drug use. I do believe, though, that use of drugs like meth make one's pupils dilated. Does anyone know that for sure?

I, too, believe she can apply for medicaid and it might even cover the cost of her medication. She can apply with her local dept of human services.

When reading this I also thought of possible mental health issues could be contributing to the situation. But unfortunately, I don't have any easy solutions for you. But as was said, please be sure to take care of yourself. Al-anon might be good support for you.

I hope you return to tell us how you and your daughter are doing. We're here to support and help you as much as we can.

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 Post subject: Another version of Hell
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:01 am 
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[font=Arial] [/font] [size=18]Yes, methaphetamines of all types make pupils large. LSD does as well. It seems every behaviour displayed could be explained away by poly-drug use. However, Suboxone does affect people differently, and the splitting of the dose might cause further, almost paradoxical side-effects. Let me please give a theory, as I have seen this happen twice as a presentation (I'm not a doctor BTW, I have worked in psych and palliative and give a damn so went into study, and use Suboxone as maintainence, but that's another story). I don't think your daughter has grieved. Opioids are wonderful for delaying the mental protocol and process of such distress, and your daughter's use during your son-in-law's death and afterward's has lead to, I think, a truly deep depression the likes of which I don't know how you or her are still at some level functioning. I don't think I've met many people like you - I know a few, but the cessation of grief and I have no doubt the depth of guilt your daughter is in is explicable and consistent with the history you gave. My God, I don't know how you will be able to, but she needs psychiatric admission, and you need the respite. Some from al-anon or similar can be good for networking, for lack of a better term. When our daughter died, my wife went OCD, slept most of the time, and wasn't on anything. I had her put into a facility, which wasn't easy, alienating me from her family, her and the guilt and self-doubt was incredible. It is possible. We divorced etc, but she so much better now. How on earth you will be able to get her to agree is something I can't answer. I had a lawyer and a doctor on my side, and laws are different etc. How helpful was that? Anyhow, your daughter blames herself for the loss of everything, though she may say different, and no grieving means no acknowledgment of this being irrational. I'm going to reread and follow this. I don't pray to God for anything for myself, seems to say no a lot, but he will occasionally answer when I ask for someone else. So, I don't think it's the Sub, though that maybe having some behavioural effects. You need a plan, and some help instigating it. You will be saving a lot of lives, which is what mother's do.


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 Post subject: Johnb007
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:57 am 
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Thank you for sharing and just an amazing response,through experience.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:30 pm 
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First of all thanks to all who have replied with advice and prayers - I feel like someone cares and can relate.

My daughter (42) has applied for Medicaid so she can at least get her current injury fixed (MRI says torn tendon in the upper back leg and herniated disc in her back). The low income clinic she went to was quick to dispense . . yes you guessed it - opiates - even though her chart was marked that she was an opiate addict and is on Suboxone. They changed it to Tylenol w/Codene - I choked - then finally wrote one for Ibuprofin 600 mg. tablets and Norflex.

She has been on the wait list for the YWCA Recovery Program (AA 12 step, I think) and finally got a break - she goes in on Monday August 8 for 6-8 weeks inpatient. While waiting for this opening, she ran out of Suboxone last week and although she is down to 1/4 of a 8 mg. sublingual film dose, she did not want to detox without professional help and support. I said I would pay her Sub MD office visit fee and the maintenance dose provided that she allow me to go with her to the doctor. I also had her sign an authorization to release any info on her health records and treatment from medical practitioners, pharmacies, law enforcement/public defenders and future probationary urine testing. Remember, she is out on bail for stealing and forging my checks and has been waiting 12 months now to go to court. Added to that, she now has an open warrant from stealing and selling her sister's jewelry and pawning her children's bikes, computers, IPODs, etc. This is to pay for Suboxone and nothing else. Now I know why.

We arrived in a shady part of town in NW Indiana to see her certified Sub Dr. who's name I could not pronouce. I was told he only takes cash. We had to be buzzed in to a glass store front that had been painted on the inside and a B/W banner over the door that said "Internal Medicine." He was obviously doing a brisk business because the store front next door was also his and both were sharing the same receptionist. The two waiting areas were standing room only. We signed in and waited. After one hour, they called her name. They wanted their $175 upfront. After another hour we were shown to an examination room that had a computer and 2 chairs, no table, no doctor supplies, no nurse. An aide came in and asked if she had been there before. This was her 7th visit. They took her weight (101 lbs.) and BP and put it in the computer. When the Dr. came in (with a heavy Nigerian accent) she told him she needed more Sub while she is waiting to go into rehab. "For what?" he asked. To get off Suboxone she replied. He asked questions like this was the first time they ever met. She told me he was in charge of and monitoring her withdrawal program and put her on the 2 mg. dose. He asked how long she has been taking Suboxone. Huh?

I couldn't sit on my tongue another minute. "8 years with 3 before that on Vicodin--90 pills every 5 days. I've been raising her children since 2003 and she is facing serious jail time if she doesn't kick this drug and start functioning normally. She sleeps 16-18 hrs a day and has no human contact except to pawn our personal possessions to pay your office fees and buy more Sub. She has detoxed 5 times and relapsed ea. time within 30 days. May I ask what is your plan for patients like her? Is there an addiction counselor you work with? Do you offer any nutrition program to counteract cravings? Do you use the state's prescription monitoring program to check on your patient's drug history? Just curious."

He gave a rote answer that each patient is different and told her to "embrace the program" and if they need to talk to him, they can call. He gave me a card that had four locations of his offices. Not a word about why is she walking with a cane and wimpering with each step. Not a word about who is this crazy person you brought and why all the questions. We left with a RX for six 8mg. Sub films. It cost me another $50.

I'll keep you posted on how this all works out. Call me what you want. I just want what's left of my life back and my children to have their mother before they're all grown up.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:29 am 
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it sounds like your daughter needs some accountability. she needs a dr that is legit and will have rules and boundaries and requirements for counseling or AA meetings. i think a big part of this whole thing is that she isnt being helf accountable for much of anything. yes, she will have to go to jail for all that stuff possibly but jail doesnt stop a lot of people and while she might seek recovery in jail, it is very unlikely and she will probably get out on good behavior and start using again. she needs to be in some kind of program after detox. i went to detox and i started using a week after i got out. bnecause detox only got me off of the drug, it didnt solve any of my problems related to addiction. and since she has been using for so long i would say she will feel pretty shitty after she gets off of the suboxone.


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