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Topic : 04/14 An Addict in the Family

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Created on : Thursday, January 08, 2009, 05:04:27 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 01/12/09) While battling cancer, Paula says she missed the signs that her 21-year-old daughter, C.J., was disconnecting from the family and turning to drugs to heal her anguish. After Paula’s husband, Jim, had an affair, the signs of trouble with their daughter became clearer. Since then, the family has done everything, including rehab, counseling and tough love, but nothing has kept C.J. drug free. Now C.J. ingests combinations of 13 prescription and street drugs, and is on the edge of killing herself. Anthony, her brother, is fed up and says she is ruining their family. Can they survive the constant turmoil? And is C.J. ready to get clean? Next, one of the heroin twins returns to Dr Phil to celebrate one year of sobriety and share her difficult road to recovery. Plus, emergency room physician and host of The Doctors Dr. Travis Stork says that he rarely spends a night in the E.R. without seeing a victim of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. Find out the most common mistakes people make and the questions you should ask yourself before you take a pill. Join the discussion.

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April 16, 2009, 7:02 am CDT

Drug Addict in the Family

I believe my daughter has a problem with prescription drugs.  She admitts to trying cocaine.  She was recently used as a "Mule" and injuected in both arms with a coctail of stuff including ice.  We found her crawling around the house looking for stuff on the floor.  They used her car to make the drug deal.  Is she considered part of the illegal activity since she was taken against her will.  She has a son who was spending the night with us.  She has been taking a large amount of pain medication for a very long time.  She has RA and fibermialga and uses these diseases and bein a single mom as a crutch.  We need advice and don't know where to go.  We have bailed her out financially and now we have moved her back in with us.  Any information on this would be greatly appreciated!
 
April 16, 2009, 7:12 am CDT

Addict in the Family

I have a 31 year old daughter with a 3 year old son who is very fragile.  She has RA and fibermyolga and has been over precscibed pain medications.  She claims she is in severe pain without it.  She has slowly went down hill until recently when she was taken hostage by real drug dealers and used as a "Mule."  She was injected in both arms with ice and other drugs, called a cocktail.  She claims her friends are stealing her lortab.  Her doctor is prescribing 280 tablets a month for a 210 lb. girl.

 

We are spiraling down hill.  She is not capable of making good decisions and continues to throw money away and just lost her house because she spent $4000 in less than two months. (Income tax refund)  She never once offered to pay me and her dad any of the debt she owes us.  Our family needs intervention but she is not willing to admit she needs help.

 

Any suggestions?

 

 
April 16, 2009, 11:14 am CDT

Addict in my family...

I also have an addict/alcoholic in my family. It is my husband. He is an alcoholic and not willing to admit he has a problem. Just the other day he blew a .06 when tested by his parole officer. He later drank an additional 6 pack. I simply do not understand the willingness combined with the risks that addicts are willing to go to. I have two children from a previous marriage which are now subject to witnessing this erratic abusive behavior. No my husband does not hit me; instead he uses his words as weapons. He does not think he is doing anything wrong. Many years ago he lost his mother in a tragic way; he uses this as his excuse to drink and drug. It is sad, and annoying all at the same time. I am hopeful that some day he will find help and get healthy. I feel for anyone going through addiction. It can be devastating to all. Thanks Dr. Phil for keeping this issue at the fore front.
 
April 16, 2009, 11:19 am CDT

disagree

Quote From: kmartel7

I am a big fan of Dr. Phil but I can't stand the way you talk to drug addicts.  I think they take it because they want  the help so badly and they know that you are probably the only way they'll get it. For that I am very greatful to you but I think that if you treated them differenly a lot more drug addicts would respond and ask for help.  I've noticed over the years that this is the only "group" that you treat this way.  It is a disease and so I've never been sure why you treat them so harshly.  I think you have never walked in their shoes and becasue of your alcholic father you think they deserve it as if they have control over it...
I disagree completely with addiction being referred to as a disease. That is simply the excuse my husband uses and he continually relapses. Diseases are something that people can not control. Cancer is a disease. Don't you think many cancer patiens would love to have a twele step program that could help them get better. It is about choice! Addicts use by choice, not by force. There are multiple places to go for help; many of which are free. Find me a cancer patient or someone with a heart condition that would not participate in one of these programs. I will not call users stupid, but I will say they make stupid CHOICES!!!!!
 
April 18, 2009, 12:29 am CDT

I'd like to talk with you.

Quote From: poogh1574

I believe my daughter has a problem with prescription drugs.  She admitts to trying cocaine.  She was recently used as a "Mule" and injuected in both arms with a coctail of stuff including ice.  We found her crawling around the house looking for stuff on the floor.  They used her car to make the drug deal.  Is she considered part of the illegal activity since she was taken against her will.  She has a son who was spending the night with us.  She has been taking a large amount of pain medication for a very long time.  She has RA and fibermialga and uses these diseases and bein a single mom as a crutch.  We need advice and don't know where to go.  We have bailed her out financially and now we have moved her back in with us.  Any information on this would be greatly appreciated!

  Hi, I too have Fibromyalgia and am disabled due to severe chronic pain from spine issues. I am in constant unimaginable pain and have developed other health issues. I also take prescription pain medications on a daily basis but am not an addict.

  The term addict is used very loosely at times by people, (I'm not talking about your situation) and many people don't understand the difference between 'dependence' and 'addiction'. Dependence is where the body would go through physical withdrawal if the medication was abruptly stopped, and addiction is more of a mental disorder, where the person needs it to get high. A huge difference if you are on these medications, how one is perceived.

  Anyway, please feel free to email me so I can try to help. I belong to a chronic pain forum (it's really for spine issues) but there are plenty of people who suffer from Fibro, RA, Lupus, etc., on there and there is also a topic for abuse, etc.. Your daughter sounds like she's into some very dangerous territory and needs help. My email is listed below.

Sincerely,

Jewels

 

   topfuelfan@hotmail.com

 

 

 
April 18, 2009, 12:55 am CDT

So terribly sorry............

Quote From: trac89

Well, this is also a message to others. I recently lost my brother MIchael to an accidental drug overdose. He had gone to the VA that day got whatever he wanted. THIS  was after he just got out their inpatient drug preogram to get off the meds he was on. they hooked him up 3 weeks later. I wish I could meet that doctor and I would really tell him or ask him how many other soldiers has he killed since my brother died. The day he came home he went online and checked the meds they just gave him, one was methadone..he only took a few, but mixed with phenobarbital thats all it took. I did call the doc the next day cause my brother had an appt for the following month..I just informed him that my brother wouldnt make that appt due to his overdose. I loved so much and all I remember is that his 17 yr old ran into my home, screaming my dad wont wake up..I think hes dead, we drove there about 1 minute and I wil never for get that. He was an addict who went into treatment and then went rite back to the same docs and they gave him drugs, just more potent than the ones he was on. My life is destroyed I think of him everyday, not a minute goes by where I am not depressed, I lost my other brother to AIDS 12 yrs ago. Hope some reads this and helps someone else.. 

  I too hope that your message will get through to someone in need also. I'm so very sorry over your brothers passing. I must admit that I am amazed when I hear of doctors who give prescription pain medications (especially along with other respiratory depressants) in large doses. I have suffered from severe chronic pain for 9 years now and have problems finding a Pain Management Doctor who will prescribe enough to give me some quality of life back. So many (most actually) doctors nowadays are too afraid to prescribe a decent dosage to get the pain under control because they are worried about the DEA putting them in prison or taking away their license. I know many people in the same boat that I'm in because of this.

  Many specialist (Pain Management) have gotten out of this field because of this and new doctors are choosing not to enter, there is currently a shortage of them at this time. It boils down to a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. But there are indeed still some of them out there who do not take all factors into consideration such as what other med's the patient may be on, if they have a addictive personality in the first place, or a family history of addiction. They will also prescribe too large of a dosage when it's not needed or properly titrated.

  Doctors are making mistakes in both directions with this being such a fine line to walk on. But it could be remedied by them taking a full family and personal history, looking for signs of people purposely seeking drugs for recreational use or addiction, and going by the guidelines set by the state federal regulations. I have read them and they are very clear cut.

 
April 18, 2009, 1:09 am CDT

Something to add!

Quote From: wildfire1969

It seems every few months, I post a message someplace when I see this topic of kids and prescription drug abuse rear it's ugly head.  The reason is I've been there, and done it as the mother of a 14 year old boy that overdosed on methadone.  Believe me when I tell you it was the worst 18 hours of my life, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

 

Since that day almost 2 1/2 years ago, I've learned so much.  I testified to a provincial task force on methadone back in January of 2007, just six weeks after my son's overdose, in an effort to convince the government of Ontario that they needed to action on "diverted carries" and the illicit methadone trade in Ontario.  I helped convince them to put a recommendation in place that has yet to be acted upon. 

 

What I wanted to share today is what every parent should know, but most likely doesn't about prescription drug abuse.  I learned these lessons the hard way, and I hope other parents won't have to.  Saying "Not my kid." is just a way to deny reality, because I was convinced it would never happen to my son.  It's sad to see how wrong I was.

 

1.  Teach your children that abusing prescription medication is the same as using illicit drugs like crystal meth or crack cocaine.  Since kids are given prescription medication and see their parents take it, they assume it's not harmful or addictive to abuse these drugs.

 

2.  Make it a rule to never go into your medicine cabinet or put a lock on it.  Keep an inventory of what drugs you have in there.  These days kids can steal almost any drug from Gravol to Cough Syrup and sell it at school to another child.  This happens in Elementary schools, Highschools and playgrounds in parks.  Do not assume it's not happening where your kids go to school, because you'd be tragically wrong.

 

3.  Monitor what your kids are doing online.  Don't let them have access to your credit card or their own.  If you think I'm kidding, try doing a google search for "purchase methadone" and then see how many websites you can order methadone from without a prescription or doctor's visit.  After my son's overdose, it was somewhere around 10,000 websites.

 

4.  Teach your kids that ANY drug they buy outside of a pharmacy may not be what they think it is.  My son thought he bought Gravol pills, not methadone.  They were packaged to look like Gravol, had the Gravol trademark on them, and he had no reason to believe he was taking anything else, even after we had his toxicology results showing he'd taken methadone.

 

5.  Teach your children to NEVER take medication that another child gives them.  There's a hot trade in school yards for Ritalin and Adderall.  Also, teach your kids to never give their medications to anyone else or to sell those pillls.

 

I'm sure these comments will shock some parents and they'll still be saying "Not my kid."  Just remember, I was convinced that it wouldn't be my son either.  I WAS SO WRONG.

 

Luckily, my story has a happy ending.  After 18 hours, my son woke up with no lasting physical effects of his overdose.  He turned 17 in December, and he's a wonderful, polite, smart and mature young man.  He acknowledged he did a very stupid thing when he bought and took those pills.  He no longer abuses drugs, and I can't believe how lucky I am.  I just wish I could forget those 18 hours of my life, because they still really hurt when I realize how close I came to losing the most important person in my life.

  I would like to add another tip to your list. To those who take prescription pain med's or narcotics of any kind on a monthly basis, remove the label on the bottle before you throw it away and burn or destroy it. You would be surprised by how many people may go through your trash. If someone realizes that you have types med's in your home, the label will have your name, address, etc. and the name of the drug, they could easily break into your home looking for them to steal. I also suggest that you keep them under lock and key and hidden in a good spot, not easily found.  

  I have to take a pain med on a regular basis and keep them hidden at all times. I also move them to an even safer place when we have any teens or company coming to the house. I never assume that someone won't steal my medication. I also never carry my prescription bottle in my purse, it too can be stolen.

  Please, those labels show it all! Destroy them them so they can't be found.

 
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