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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:41 pm 
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Hi, this is my first post. I have a 19 yr old grandson who has been smoking heroin off foil for about 18 months. He is homeless and called me over the weekend to help him detox. He's tried it on his own but he can't do it. He has no insurance and doesn't want to go to a clinic. He told me he was smoking 1.5 grams of heroin a day and he wanted to try suboxone detox. He ran out of heroin last night at 9 pm and he says you only have to be off heroin for 24 hours. He has 11 suboxone strips. Right now he has some mile symptoms but he doesn't seem too bad. He's sleeping, but he was able to drink a milk shake before he fell asleep.

I'm so scared to let him do this, but I really love him and want to see him off the drugs. I expect him to get sicker until he takes the suboxone at 9 pm tonight, but will he immediately feel better? There are so many stories on the internet. Some say you have to taper it down. Some say you can just do it for a week or so and be detoxed.

I don't know anything about heroin so I don't know if he was smoking a lot or a little. I read where people say they were sicker than a dog, even on suboxone, but they still went to work. He can stay here as long as he wants, with a nice warm bed, a nurse (me), and a TV and computer to keep his mind off of it. I'm really scared about going to bed tonight and waking up to find him in a coma or something.

Any opinions on what I can expect in the next 24 hrs? 3 days? a week? He has strips, are the pills better? I would prefer he go to a doctor, but they want over $1000 just for office visits and that doesn't include the medication!!

Thanks
Grandma


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:54 pm 
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Welcome.I would do a little more homework.You can watch Dr Junigs videos on Youtube.Im pretty sure you need to wait longer than 24 hrs for heroin but I could be wrong.In any instance,the longer you wait the better,He can take the COWS withdrawal test and see if he's where he needs to be.The strips dissolve quicker,think thats the only difference and they may be more expensive than the pills.8 mg is good to start,wait an hour then reasess.If withdrawal is still there,take another 8.That should do the job.He should begin to feel better within an hour of the first strip.Go to suboxone.com and watch the video to be sure he is taking it properly for maximum absorbtion.You sound like an awesome gramma and good luck!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:39 pm 
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Thanks for getting back to me. He has it in his head that he can try it in 24 hours because he said he did it once before. He also saw someone take it before the 24 hours and they got so sick - so that scared him. He said he was out of heroin once for about 24 hours and he was so sick. Someone gave him one strip and he felt a lot better, but then he was able to get the heroin and went back to it. It just seems that he has this "plan" and he doesn't want me to tell him anything. I will monitor him after 9 pm and see how he's doing. I did find out that this type of detox is the safest as compared to alcohol which can kill you if you try it alone.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:14 pm 
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I know you love this kid and are only trying to help, but can you see that he is only acting on addictive behavior? Has he tried to find some place to go for treatment? Are all avenues exhausted?

He is taking Suboxone illegally just like he gets his heroin. Unfortunately there is a black market for this drug that shouldn't be there. It just prolongs the addict to keep on doing what they do best, use.

My suggestion would be to find him some help. Call the county and see about what they can offer for those who are not insured. If you can find a place, see if he will go and seek real recovery instead of just putting a band-aid on his addiction with the Sub.

If he ends up being right and takes the Sub w/o any illness, then what? If he's wrong, that will be painful. That is why a doctor administers this drug under strict guidelines. They find out how much they are using and base that on the withdrawal period for induction. He's taking a gamble and it's 50/50 which way it'll go. Even at best he is still addicted with no treatment plan.

Sorry for your involvement on this. Addiction surely is a family disease.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:12 pm 
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Thanks

I tried everything and there is a free program, but he won't go. He took the suboxone after only 20 hours and now he's going crazy. He's crying and asking for his phone numbers which I think is to call his friends for heroin. He took 16 mg. of suboxone so far but he says he doesn't feel any better. I may have to take him to the ER and just hope they will see him without insurance. I think I'm freaking out more than he is. My husband is here with me so we will do what we have to to get him through the next few hours. I know I'm just enabling him but he lies so much. He told me he went without heroin for up to 40 hours at a time when he couldn't get it. He said he got sick but it was nothing like this. I don't get it. How did he do this several times and now he can't. I never would have attempted this if I knew he was lying.

He's a good kid and an honor student all his life until 16 when he started using drugs. It's hard to watch him suffer.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:16 am 
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So he took 16 mg already? Did he take it all at once? And he's sick still? Is he sicker than he was before he took the sub? And did it come on very suddenly? I'm trying to ascertain if he induced too soon and is suffering from precipitated withdrawals.

Let us know how he's doing.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:03 am 
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He took 24mg. All at once. He finally calmed down about 2 hours later. He watched TV until midnight and then went to bed and it's 7 am here and he is still sleeping. I stayed up with him until midnight and he seemed to be OK. I can't believe he is sleeping because I thought a side effect was insomnia.

Thank you to everyone who posted. It's easier for me if I can vent. I forgot to mention that we have an appointment with the only free clinic here to get him on a withdrawal plan with suboxone. We tried to get him in on Wednesday, but they told us the doctor was out of town until October 11. Now I have to figure out what to do until then. I can afford to get some more suboxone until then, but I can't afford 24 mg a day.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:56 pm 
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24 mg all at once?? No wonder he's still sleeping. May I ask why he took all that at once? That's not the way an induction is done. This is exactly the reason why he should be under the care of a doctor. I mean no disrespect, I hope you know that. I hope that clinic can help him.

I know you are just trying to find the best way to help him. I understand that. Just please remember through all this to try to take care of yourself, too. This is really hard on family. Take care and please keep us posted.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:18 pm 
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Thanks Hatmaker. Yes he took them all at once and slept all night, but this morning I only let him have 8mg. and he seems fine. He's eating well so far. You're right, it does take a toll on the family. If it wasn't for my calm husband I couldn't do this.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:16 pm 
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Hi and welcome, I have been following your thread but since you have been getting such good advice I haven't posted. I am sorry for what you and your family are going thru. Your grandson is lucky to have such a caring grandmother. The other's are right your grandson needs treatment, I think it is even more difficult for young people because they do not have as much to lose and their brains are not fully mature yet. He can detox off sub but then what? He will still be left with all the same feelings as he had before sub and most likely will experience post acute withdrawl syndrome. I would encorage you to look that up and learn as much as you can about it. People think the detox and physical withdrawl is the hard part (and I am not saying it's easy) but most people relapse do to PAWS, they just can't take the depression, lethargy and everything else that goes along with it and it can last for a year or even longer. I am afraid if your grandson does not have professional help thru this time and a support group beyond what you can offer he will relapse. Obviously some people make it and he could be one but the odds are against him. I understand how difficult the cost is I have issues with it myself because my insurance does not cover my sub treatment, but he NEEDS professional help. Maybe you could encourage him to post here, we are not professionals but there are many people here with a lot of knowledge about recovery and for him to talk to people with common problems and goals could be good for him. I will be praying for your grandson and honestly hope he will be an exception.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:49 pm 
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Thanks Breezy

He got up this morning and took one 8 mg and went out to run errands with me. He didn't seem to be in any discomfort at all and was eating a lot. Then we got home around noon, he made a call and asked me to take him to a friend's house. I expected that and I knew it was coming. I didn't think it would come that soon. He told me in the car he hated heroin and if he ever went back on drugs he would go back to meth. He's probably high right now. I know they have to hit bottom and he hasn't done that yet, so I gave him some food, $10 bucks, a phone card and a bus pass and I can only hope and pray that I see him again. He didn't want the suboxone so he left it here. I'm not sure if he's really going back to meth or if he didn't want them because he's going back to heroin. He suffered pretty bad last night so I hope he remembers that. He knows he can call me any time day or night and I will help him. I am grateful to all of you and I'm praying for you all too because I know it's one day at a time.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Thats too bad because had he been able to go about it the right way,he may have had better results.I suspect he took so much Sub because he was trying to get high off of it.Unfortunately hes not yet ready to quit,esp if he flippantly said he would choose Meth.Please do not enable him any more.Let him find his own way.Take care of you!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:00 pm 
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Thanks Melijim

He's just not ready and so he manipulates the system. His mother took him to a free inpatient detox in August and he left after 3 hours. She made an appt for him a couple of weeks later for a free outpatient program using suboxone. He was gone when she woke up on the day of the appointment. This is the first time he came to me. At some point he will hit bottom and do whatever it takes. I could afford to pay cash for a hospital detox, but I don't sense that he is ready. He was really gung ho about wanting to detox, but as soon as he felt good again, he left. I just give it to God and have faith. It's hard not to enable him when you love him so much. I've been married almost 40 years and until today I only saw my husband cry once when his mother died. My husband is taking it hard because my grandson lost his daddy in a car accident when he was 2 and my husband is the only man in his life. Thank you


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:44 pm 
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I'm so sorry you and your family are going through this. He is young and has turned down at least three legitimate chances at rehab, so it seems you're right that he just isn't ready. Please, please don't even consider paying cash for anything at this point. It sounds like unfortunately he is going to have to suffer a lot more before he will really commit to anything. I really feel for you because I know how hard it is to try and help someone who won't help themselves. All you can do is keep turning it over. We canl just hope and pray that he will find his way. You said he was a smart, good kid, so hopefully he will get to the point that he doesn't want to live like this.
I wish you and your family all the best.
Lilly


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Hi jeepjk09,

I've been reading this thread, but honestly, I've also been trying to steer clear of it because of the heartbreaking subject matter.

I decided to post because of something you said, you said, "He suffered pretty bad last night so I hope he remembers that.", even IF he remembers that, it probably will make little difference. Jeepjk09, I relapsed about 2 weeks ago to the point where I was in a near OD situation, it was horrifying to me, it scared the tar right out of me, it embarrassed me, it shook me to my foundation.......guess what, I almost used again 2 days after that near OD!!!! What in the world would make me act like that?? Addiction makes us act like that.

This disease called addiction operates with an almost total absence of logic. The behaviors many of us exhibit, most would call insane. It's nearly impossible for a non-addict to understand why we do the ridiculously stupid things that we do. In short, our brains operate differently. Our brains drive us to obsess over the drug, then when we get some, we use it compulsively until we're out, then we obsess over getting some more. For many of us addicts, that's what our lives had been reduced to......obsession and compulsion of drugs......nothing else matters.

It's my belief that the vast majority of addicts have to hit their bottom before they become willing to seek or accept help. Everyones bottom is different. For some, losing material things like a house or the car is enough to get them to straighten out. For others, getting thrown in jail is their bottom. Your grandson is gonna have to hit his bottom.

I also agree with Melijm, it's my opinion that you should stop enabling him. Tell him you love him way too much to participate in any way, shape or form with aiding his getting and using drugs.

My prayers are with you and your family.

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 Post subject: Hi Grandma......
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:06 am 
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Hi Grandma, First may I say God Bless you. Not only are you helping your grandson you are helping others reading this forum that you will never know! Nothing tears families apart like Drugs & Alcoholism. I speak from first hand knowledge! But nothing puts families back together like a GOOD Recovery!
Now the bad part.... Watch yourself! I know you do But you need to remember your Grandson is sick. He has the same disease that I do! Right now with the grace of GOD and a lot of Very good people in my life I have my disease in Remission. BUT when I didn't.... I Stole, I Cheated And I lied to EVERYONE mostly the people that Loved and Cared about me the most. Others have already chimed in on the Medical stuff. I just wanted to give a dose of reality to the thread! I hope & Pray that your Grandson and your Family continue to Recover from this Deadly Disease. You will find the best people on the Web right here! I have not posted for some time But this site was Very much apart of me getting and Staying clean. Please continue to keep us posted and Best of luck!!

God Bless
TW

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:12 am 
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Thanks to everyone who posted. It helps to understand the disease better from people who are in recovery.


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