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 Post subject: Mother who loves her son
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:54 pm 
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I just found this site and it has already helped so much. I was one of those parents who thought that Suboxone was just substituting one addiction for another. My son has been having a difficult time lately and we talked about getting him off of Suboxone but now I am thinking if anything he needs to have his dose adjusted upward. He is now 22. He experimented with a lot of different drugs in High School and finally got hooked on Heroin after taking it just a couple of times. He tried to quit by himself by using street Methadone. I thought we had always been close and was totally blown away when I found out he had used Heroin. I went into my own deep depression and felt like a total failure as a mother. After one relapse with heroin we decided to try the Suboxone. We both had conflicting feelings about it. He has not relapsed once since he started it (as far as I know). He has been living on his own for a couple of years now but has been having a lot of anxiety and stomach problems. He gets very emotional and I had him move back in with us. I am not sure that was the right thing to do but I feel like I need to keep him close. He is also on Pristiq. He went to his primary doctor for his stomach problems but he just gave him something for constipation. He gets dry heaves in the morning and fast heart rate, etc. I am wondering if he is having some withdrawals from not taking enough Suboxone. The other problem is we only have one doctor in our town licensed to prescribe Suboxone and I just don't know how knowledgeable he is. I know this is rambling on but we have so may issues right now and I need to post some of these questions in different sections.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:02 pm 
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Hi slygal and welcome to the forum. I'm glad you've found the information here useful. It sounds like you love your son very much. What dose is he currently on? There is no one correct dosage - everyone is unique and has their own drug history. The one constant regarding dosage is that is should be at or above the ceiling limit (unless one is tapering off). Most people/doctors would say the ceiling is at or above 4 mg, but that's variable and not an exact science, if you know what I mean. There are people maintained on dosages anywhere from 2 mg all the way up to 24 mg. Although we can't really advise on what your son's dosage should be, we can tell you what we know from what we've learned and our own experiences.

Constipation is definitely a side effect of sub, but can usually be managed with more water intake, stool softeners, increased fiber in one's diet and sometimes laxatives. Often the higher the dose the more side effects the person experiences. I haven't heard about the dry heaves or the tachycardia being side effects of sub, but as I said, everyone is different. I've had some issues with tachycardia (even before I started sub) and I take atenolol for it (a beta blocker). His doctor can do an EKG and decide if something like that is warranted.

Let us know what dose he's on and we'll see what we can come up with. Also, if he needs more support, would he consider joining this forum as well? Finally, I think you're a great mom for supporting his the way you are. His addiction is NOT your fault. It's an illness and not a character flaw - it's not a matter of will power or anything like that, and suboxone is a treatment for it, along with other forms of recovery. Addiction is deadly and suboxone offers us "addiction remission", thereby saving lives. Consider if he were diabetic and what you would do or try before taking him off his insulin. Just remember to take care of yourself, too, through all this.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:15 pm 
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Thanks for your reply. I have suggested that he join this forum. He is taking 2mg 2 -3 times a day. He says that's the way his doctor prescribed it. He takes the third dose if he feels like he needs it. From what I am reading that might not be the best way to take it. He is still feeling really bad. He said he had a small "really gross" bm this morning. I wonder if he is impacted and is just passing some liquid stool around it. I would like for him to have complete check up before we just assume it's medication related.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:32 pm 
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I think you're very smart to have him checked out medically first, before assuming his symptoms are related to the sub.
Often when a person first starts treatment with suboxone, the doctor does have them dosing more than once per day, but that is usually temporary. I think it's safe to say that dosing only once per day is the norm (unless taking it for pain). The reason is so that we addicts can get out of the habit of always taking something when we feel "bad". How long has he been on sub? It might be time for him to go to once a day dosing - to take his 6 mg once a day in the morning. Then he only has to think about the sub once a day and can go about the business of learning to live life on life's terms, as they say. If he only takes suboxone for his addiction and does nothing else to build healthy habits and coping skills, then when the time comes to taper off, he'll only be in the same place he was when he started - that is, at risk of relapse. Does he go to meetings or see a therapist? Therapy is a great way to learn to cope with life without numbing our feelings. We have to learn to accept and deal with the normal emotions of every day life.

I hope this helps. Keep us posts on how both of you are doing.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:38 pm 
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He was seeing a therapist at first but he did not think he was helping much. He has been on Suboxone for about 4 years now. He seemed to be doing okay until earlier this year when he had significant depression and was put on Pristiq. He went back to another therapist but has not seen anyone lately. He claims talking does not help. It is so hard. He is an adult and I can only give him advice and support. I was the one that got him back into counseling but as they say, you can lead a horse to water...


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:26 pm 
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It's a shame your son isn't giving his therapy a chance to help. It takes time. Maybe you can explain to him how important it and how it's not a quick fix. Just a thought.

You say he's been on sub for 4 years now and is still dosing 2-3 times a day? Does he take it for pain at all? If not, there's no reason whatsoever for him to be dosing more than once per day. It's my opinion that all he's doing is reinforcing his need to take a pill when he "feels he needs it". It's a shame his doctor isn't helping him to get to once a day dosing - it really is in his best interest. What he's doing by dosing when he feels "bad" (or anxious or whatever) is the same behavior we do when we're in active addiction. I mean it's great that he doesn't have all the other active addiction behaviors and it's so much better being on sub, but (and again, this is just my opinion) I think he needs a full program of recovery. Dosing once per day, therapy, meetings, support, etc., are some of the things I'm referring to.

Maybe some other members will give you their take on the situation...

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:46 am 
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I agree with everything you are saying. Unfortunately we live in a small town and there is only one doctor licensed to subscribe Suboxone. I am tempted to take him out of town to at least get a second opinion. He is so down, crying all the time. I am so worried about him. I think he is using the Sub to feel better but gets very anxious and depressed when it does not take away all his problems. He does not have chronic pain although he has had stomach problems ever since he was a little guy. I wish there was someplace I could take him where they would look at the whole situation. It seems like his addiction doctor just prescribes the meds and does his UA's (which have been clean) and his primary has been trying to manage his depression and GI problems but no one is looking at the whole picture. I have some research to do. Thanks for all your help.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:58 am 
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I can hear your frustration. Like I've already said, it's quite obvious to me that you're a great mom. I can't imagine the heartache and worry this situation is causing you. Are you taking care of yourself throughout all this? Have you ever tried going to any meetings, like Naranon or Alanon? It might help you to get some support from other people in similar situations. Being an addict myself it's hard for me to empathize fully about being the family/loved one of an addict, recovering or not. I know there's hurt and frustration over a situation you can't control. But it sounds like you're doing everything right - you're doing a great job. Just remember to take care of yourself, too.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:03 pm 
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Hi slygal,
I too have a son that was on heroin. I feel your pain. The biggest problem we are facing now is finding a doctor or program that has room to take my son. He was in a program with group sessions 3x week and 1 on 1 once per week, and it was great. Problem was, his job sends him out of town a lot and he could not always get back in time for sessions. Even with him calling and explaining it, they kicked him out. One doc told him to quit his job. He can't do that with bills to pay. So now his subs script ran out and we are trying to get him back into a program. We've called one program, left multiple messages, but no one returns the calls. It's very frustrating, and seems like no one wants him to get better. There aren't enough subs docs around! I'm not sure what to do next, just needed to vent.

Thanks for listening.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:05 pm 
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My son is on summer break right now from college so it's a good time to really deal with this. Also I have 8 weeks off from work because I was supposed to have surgery that got postponed. I am looking into programs and I have found one about 2 hours from here that looks pretty good. I am going to call them as soon as my son wakes up. They have both inpatient and outpatient programs. My sister lives about 30 minutes away from there also so we could stay with her. The internet is a great resource. Good luck with your son. We had another doctor in town that my son started out with but he was so strict. If he missed one appt. he could not get his Sub. refilled! I know my son has to be responsible for his actions but he was 18 years old. His new doctor is not nearly as strict but it is still hard because even though he calls himself an addiction specialist I don't think he has a lot of training in the area.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Slygal,
It's great that you can be there with your son during his summer break. Two hour drive isn't so bad when you know it's for the right reasons. I hope all goes well for both of you.

Although our son moved back in with us when he admitted he had a problem, it has still been an ongoing struggle. He thought he could do this on his own, but the cravings were too strong, and he was self medicating with subs when he could get it. After 6 months of that, he admitted he needed help so enrolled in a program. The cost was still enormous, but legal. $900 in co-pays and urine tests, and $700 a month in subs. I am hoping that we can find another doc/program soon. Much of his problem is depression that he was being treated for, but the subs doc took him off of everything, and never addressed the depression issue. My son said he got into this because he was trying to fill a hole in his soul. He had a great therapist that he really liked, but the program he was in was a "one stop shopping" so to speak. I think he may have to start back with the therapist.

My thoughts and prayers are with you both during this very difficult time. I know just how difficult it can be.

Be well.


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