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Parent of a heroin addict

My 19 year old has been using heroin for a year. Right now, he denies it but then he will ask for clonodine. Until he admits he has a problem, what should we do? Wait around until he crashes? He suffers from severe depression and is on Wellbutrin. He attributes all of his problems to depression and is very angry if I suggest it is the drugs. I am trying to go on with my life but it is hard when he is falling apart at 3:00 am, crying and lamenting about having no hope. I am going to Alanon. I have told him we will get help for him when he is ready but his meltdowns are killing our family. How direct should I be about the evidence he sometimes leaves around plus the raging? I am so worn out. Help!
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Avatar universal
Apparently your son lives with you so now it is a family problem. You need to confront him now along with the rest of the family for back-up support.  My brother did this 3 years ago with my nephew and it worked!  Alanon should be able to help you out on how to handle this one correctly.  If your son is self medicating with heroine, he definately needs professional help as he has some deep seated problems that need to be addressed now!  See if you can find a detox facility with an addition specialist and talk to them about your son if you value your sanity and your family's well being.  Good luck! Now is the time to be firm and not take any more BS from your son.
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Avatar universal
Found this on the site recommended way below. I think it has some great thoughts as far as use and "addiction" go. Check it out. This was found under the Oxycodone section. Sounds like the medical professionals that put that site together have a better grasp than many on opiates and the fear that surrounds them. Unfortunately, most doctors don't "gradually decrease" anything. - Mike P.

"Use exactly as directed by your prescriber or health care professional. If you are taking oxycodone on a regular basis, do not suddenly stop taking it. Your body becomes used to the oxycodone and when you suddenly stop taking it, you may develop a severe reaction. This does NOT mean you are "addicted" to oxycodone. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine such as oxycodone to control your pain. If you do stop oxycodone treatment after several days, your prescriber will gradually decrease your dose over a period of time to avoid any adverse reactions."

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Avatar universal
Here's another example of people's disegard for someone's question.  Genie deserves better than that on her thread.  I'm getting tired of you whiners on this forum because you are the problem and not one iota of the solution.  Never ever trash another's thread with your selfish, wimpy questions here.  I know that I'll probably get flamed for saying this but I just have had it up to here with this kind of posting.
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Avatar universal
First to J.B.  You have my upmost respect for your post.  I totally agree with you.  Genie came here asking for help, posted a VERY serious question, and you gave her a great answer.  The others who posted just shoved her aside without even the courtesy of responding, simply so they could get their rather UNIMPORTANT posts read.  To me this is the height of selfishness and just another sign of our incredibly selfish culture.  If you do get flamed J.B., it will come from selfish, ignorant people who are not even worth my spending the time to write about them.  To Genie, J.B.'s post about an intervention is a great idea.  So is Alanon.  As J.B. said, please raise the issue with them.  With respect to your son, he needs immediate professional help.  Look for a psychologist/psychiatrist certified in treating addiction.  Also, I think you must confront your son, with love but with firmness.  Heroin is FAR too dangerous to not confront him about.  At least those of us addicted to pills knew EXACTLY how much narcotic we were using.  Your son is at tremendous risk because heroin strengths vary so much.  His next dose could be his last.  You are correct, if he is asking for clonidine, he is using.  You must get him professional help, urge him to go to meetings, search his room to ensure you know EXACTLY what he is doing, and set strict groundrules for him continuing to live in your house.  Finally, most addicts don't allow anyone to help them until they hit rock bottom.  I hope your son is not in this category.  Good luck to you and please post again.  Phil
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Avatar universal
Thanks for getting the discussion back on track. I truly appreciate your support. When you  live within the craziness of addiction, it is helpful to hear a sane voice. My son admits he loves heroin but insists it is in the past. As much as I would love to believe him, I don't. I don't have hard evidence but my gut speaks loudly. When he is raging and crying , I don't know if  he is coming down or manifesting his depression. Daily, I put it in front of him that when he is ready for help, we will get it for him. We try hard not to make his use easy for him. His basic issue is that he is terrifiedd of facing adulthood and is seriously dragging his feet to the point that he makes himself ill. I wish I had faith in rehab. If he does agree to getting help, I don't know which way to jump. Rehab? AA? Acupuncture and homeopathy? It is all such a **** shoot. I hear of so many having spent their life savings on rehab. to no avail. What has worked in your experience? thanks, guys.
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Avatar universal
Sorry about yesterday's post, I guess I was pretty snippy with you.  Don't take it too personal, I just meant that many times people post some questions that need immediate attention.  Many times we get way off track and the original poster will get pretty upset that no one seems to care about their problem.  Using heroine is a very big problem for anyone, especially a 19 year old.  I'm glad that you understand why is said what I said!
I use a mail order pharmacy but I don't want to give you their name.  My doctor referred me to them so I assume you would need a referral.  Every transaction is done by a code like a long PIN number.  I get eleven different meds this way.  Two of my meds are Schedule III and I have to inform them 10 days before I'm out.  They are shipped via FedEx and arrive right on schedule almost to the day I will run out.  I am also on a payment plan which really helps finacially in that I send a predetermined amount each month(like the power company's budget program). The price of the meds are probably 20 percent lower than the local pharmacy.  See if your doctor knows anything about this.
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Avatar universal
i have a 19 yr old cousin thats in jail because of heroin and god knows what else.he was finally arrested for daytime b&e. he has stole money and cars & about anything else you can think of. he has parents that love him dearly and unconditionally to the point that they wanted to think he was telling them straight this time& this time & this time...dont buy into it or your gonna go down that same road my family has gone.i think phil &jb have told you right dont think its gonna go away. take action before your looking at him from the other side of the bars.i ve never used  heroin but saw this with my cousin unfold over the last 5 years, dont let his crying full ya get him somewhere!before you dont have a say. wishing you luck & will pray for you all
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Avatar universal
Instead of jumping on anyone's ass - regardless of a "sorry" - Post to the creators of this board and ask for more acceptable posts a day. People will continue to tag on until that is resolved. As for me - I no longer give a ****. Shame on me for leaning on people in cyberspace for ANYTHING - and shame on the rest of you for typing anything here instead of talking to your loved ones. Or for posting medical questions that demand actual medical attention instead of someone's reply here - regardless of their "medical qualifications" etc. Thanks to those who have shown me just how inane this board is. It's a crutch for some - a catalyst for others and serves to do nothing but alienate anyone who relies on it from the real world. What's really wrong with this country? People tend to find a substitute for anything but reality. First it's the drugs and then it's the internet. You guys have fun discussing the endless ramifications of drug addiction and what to do about it while doing nothing about it. I'm going to do what I should have done long ago: forget this site ever existed and go live in reality. Those of you who can't talk to your kids, spouse, doctor, shrink, dealer etc., turn off your computer and learn how to. Until then it's just procrastination and excuses. I won't post again.
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A guy named Charlie stated that he was prescribed vicodin from the pillbox. He states that it is legitimate. A physician will phone you and discuss your symptoms. Charlie was given a script for 100 vics and 1 refill. He stated he did this just to hold him over until he went through detox and has now been clean for approx. 2 months now. Has anyone else tried? I had gone online and started to answer the questionaire but when I was asked who my server was (HTTP OR ?) I didn't know the answer and could not progress any farther. I felt like this was a sign from above so I didn't proceed. If anyone else has tried please let us know. Thanks!!!!!
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Avatar universal
You, anonymous poster who wrote to "J.B. and the rest."  I am glad you are leaving this board.  You obviously don't get what is going on here. (AND you are too cowardly to put your name)  We are addicts helping other addicts, plain and simple.  MANY people have posted how much we have helped them.  If you are unable to understand this, and obviously don't have the intelligence level to do so, then PLEASE LEAVE!!  No one here is substituting this information for a doctor's opinion, or because they are "addicted" to the internet.  Instead, they are looking for information from those who know it best--the addicts themselves.  NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND?  As for your earlier barging in on Genie's thread, I stand by my prior post.  The manner in which you did it was incredibly rude, and therefore it doesn't surprise me you later lash out at those who sought to show you your rudeness.  Of course people have to post questions under others due to the lack of new questions.  However, when a very serious question like Genie's has been posted, THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS ACKNOWLEDGE HER PRIOR TO SHOVING YOUR OWN STUPID QUESTION IN!!  If you REALLY want to know what is wrong with this country my friend, it is people like you.  Rude, ignorant, arrogant, impatient, insensitive and selfish people, who trample on others' feelings without regard, simply to get their own needs met.  So, go from here and find some right wing nazi group where I'm sure you'll fit right in.  Good riddance.  Phil
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Avatar universal
I'm the real J.B. and want you to know that I didn't write the post J.B. and the rest.  I was shocked when I read it and thought that either someone was trying to do me in or I was in some incredible blackout!  Thanks for the post you wrote to the anonymous poster(imposter).

About the Pill Box Pharmacy: I thought they were in all kinds of trouble with DEA.  I saw something on television a while back where a ten year old boy got Viagra from them!  I would be careful in dealing with a company like that because DEA might be knocking on your door next.
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Avatar universal
You're quite welcome.  I truly appreciate your posts here.  I think you've helped A LOT of people with your honesty, your caring input, etc.  I wish more people were less selfish about THEIR own needs and were like you.  Take care, Phil
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Avatar universal
Thanks so much for the kind words!  I'd like to think that I've helped some people here and maybe made a difference.  But that is not the sole reason for my posting.  I like to type these messages to guage how I am doing...kind of like a diary.  It helps me keep my own sanity.  All I can say is that I have a lot of experience with alcohol and drug abuse and nothing except out and out rudeness shocks me anymore.  We all deserve to be heard here and nobody is any better than anybody else when it comes to needing help with our problems.  Phil, you are a good soul and the voice of reason here.  Tom, Dan, Brian, Brighty and so amny others have so much to give all of us.  We just need to listen and take everything they tell us to heart and make our own decisions.  That's it in a nutshell.  Take home what you want and leave the rest behind!  Be well my friend.
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Avatar universal
You were both correct and appropriate to post as you did in regard and respect for others. You are to be commended. I have had many discussions with JB on this board and know you to be a person of integrity. And Phil, you are certainly a welcome newcomer. I think nearly everyone who comes here is a valuable addition to the knowledge and support that we come here for. I do think that it's hard to get questions on the board and this is why some folks just seem to interrupt and disrupt a thread. I hope that when anyone needs to do this that they can find a thread of similar content and insert their question there.... maybe that will help. Love, Brighty
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Avatar universal
THERE IS HOPE !!!!! Nearly everyone here knows that I have spent 3 1/2 years battling alongside my daughter and her heroin addiction. She began her addiction with RX Xanax and sooner or later tried everything and the heroin is what put her at death's door more than once. She has been in treatment now for nearly 9 months. Like your son she is young ... 21... and was despondent because she finally had found her nemesis... a drug so powerful it steals your soul. You can find a short version of my story on this board in another thread. You may be in for the battle of your life... your son is crying out for help but has lost his belief that he can win. Right now he needs his family even though he may do things to alienate them. I do agree with the friends here who are advising you to go to alanon or naranon.... do it... but remember.... they may eventually tell you to give him to God.. to let him into the street to hit bottom. Remember.. the bottom may be death.... I was totally unwilling to allow my daughter to die...even if it was supposedly God's will... today she is in recovery. She has nearly 9 months of clean time. This battle can be won. There is no magic bullet... your son may have to do his part even if he is forced into it kicking and screaming initially.  Since there is too much to post here I am hoping you will contact me by e-mail. My address is ***@****   By the way Genie, you are in the right place. The people here are genuine caring human beings who understand the suffering of addiction. They speak from experience and have compassionate hearts. Please continue to come here for support... I am not an addict but for me I would not have made the last 8 months without the folks her holding me up and giving me courage. They are all light bearers who have helped me find my way out of the darkness. Love, Brighty
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Avatar universal
Hello all, I have been reading this board for some time now, and only decided to post when I read Genie's post.  I know how rough of a time I have had with pharmaceuticals, so I can only imagine the impact heroin would have.  I will save my story for later, for as of right now I wish to address Genie.  Have you considered a change of enviornment for your son?  Short of jail, I mean?  I cannot count how many times I have detoxified myself (at home) only to have a "friend" call me with a good deal on Oxycontin.  Nobody twisted my arm, yet had no one called me I can honestly say I wouldn't have went looking.  I live in a rather rural area (Small Town, USA), and suffered from severe depression as well as an anxiety disorder.  When I moved to The City (a tourist spot) and got a job, it was like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders.  I lost a lot of weight (a good thing), my Public Relations skills started to blossom, my confidence in myself rose, and my anxiety disorder lay dormant while I was there.  I am rambling, but the point I am trying to make is this:  Like a good friend once said, "If you run with the dogs you'll get the fleas on you eventually."  One of the many things I have learned from having an Addictive Personality is that MISERY LOVES COMPANY.  Perhaps, if he gets away from that area and into a different one, he will find some things that mean more to him.  The craving for Opiates will flare up on me from time to time, this I am sure, but if they are not readily available I will find something else to do.  We are all susceptible to the influence of others to some degree, and I am guessing that 95 percent of his so-called "friends" are really nothing more than drug-buddies looking for someone who is just as miserable as they are, if not more.  It is unfortunate to say the least, but many people BS themselves into believing they feel better by saying, "Hey, compared to him/her, I'm not so bad."  Beware of these people.  As far as jail or commitment goes, I don't feel that I can make a suggestion there, for I have mixed feelings on those topics.  Just remember that when he scratches his nose and face frequently, it is a tell-tale sign of opiate use.  That's one thing you can't hide!  Take care Genie, and I wish you and your family the best.  -Love 3-D
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Avatar universal
Dear Genie,
   I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am for you because I have been putting my Mother through since I was 12 years old
( 17 Now) and wish I can see you face to face and somehow tell you that you are doing everything that you probably can do with what ever is left of your strength & will of a mother that the USA needs more of today. Your son does have a serious problem and it isn't justified for him to behave the way he has around you. The reason he gets angry with your suggestion of his irratibility resulting from the drugs because he knows that it's true and he doesn't know how to deal with it.  He's unwilling to face that the fact that drugs have completley enslaved him and is trying (in a way) to prove he is not addicted. It's Really hard to explain this thought pattern verbally, but believe, it's true. I went to a rehab for 3 1/2 months until i have finally excepted my own actions and wanted to change them. I came home on Halloween thinking that by having the WILL to change I would with no problems. I was VERY wrong because on MoN., Nov.29, I went to a concert & nearly O.D.ed thinking I could still Handle it. Now, I am still Suffering from the effects and wondering how much of what ever it was that I mixed in my dirty drug cocktail. I am telling you this because I want to warn you of something. When a hardcore junkie is clean for a while and messes up again, they mess up BAD!!! I know that if i do that again i probably won't be able to pull myself from 6 ft under to warn anyone else. You need to get you son help, he WILL die if he doesn't  get his act together. Trust me, when I say stuff like that, I am ALWAYS right. But he needs to be willing to help himself first.

                               Regards~*
                                    ENIGMA          PS...You    know, you can commit him to a menta institution for this kind of thing.  They'er not all bad. You should check out the U of U mental inst. in Utah, Its really good.

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Avatar universal
I just checked in to see if you are o.k.  This topic is near and dear to my heart due to the experiences with my nephew's addiction to crack.  My brother spent tens of thousands of dollars on him at treatment facilities.  Nothing was keeping him away from crack.  Out of desperation, my brother asked me for help.  I lived in Colorado at the time and didn't know what to do but decided that Chris be sent to me for the summer.  I thought that getting away from his peers would be the answer.  We had some wonderful times fishing, exploring, camping and all the things you can find to do in the mountains.  Mainly, we just spent a lot of time together.  He just wanted a father in his life and had felt cheated by his own father's absence(he was gone most of the time on business trips).  Anyway, Chris stayed with us for two years graduating from High School in the process.  He made quite a name for himself in football and had the admiration of many girls.  He later got a college degree in business from a well known Jesuit School in Indiana, married a Veteranarian and has a son of his own.  There are some successful ones around-the survivors.  I just thank God that I was allowed to be able to help my nephew.  This was one of my finer moments.
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Avatar universal
Hi Genie and All, I sympathize so much to your problem with your son, I saw a show, Ricki Lake, it was on yesterday and today, they had teens addicted to heroin.  The teens were offered the opportunity to go to a very kind detox, where they put the kids to sleep for about 6 hours and give them a medication to rapidly clean their opiod receptors.  They were asleep so they didn't feel much of the withdrawl, then they were offered inpatient rehab.  I don't know what the program is called but Ricki has a website and I am sure you can get some information from there.  It is so scary, I have 2 children of my own and I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you.  If he could just understand addiction is a dead end to life.  I will pray for you and everyone here.  Thanks  Kimberly
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Avatar universal
Thanks for all of your words. After a week of hell, I feel like I have nothing to lose by putting it all out on the table with my son. I think I will just tell him the evidence that I have and that it is time for him to face it. I am not one for ultimatums but I am gaining the courage to be honest with him, even if he flips out (once more). My dilemma is that I don't know what to offer him. Our insurance is an HMO with a weak rehab program. The commercial rehab is pricey. We are a single income family so my resources are limited. If I had faith in something surefire, I would bet the farm on it but I've become cynical because I hear so many failed rehab stories, even if I can get him there. He does have an apointment with his psychiatrist next week but he minimizes the problem when he is in there. One thing I might be able to sell to him is naturopathy augmented with accupuncture. He is a vegetarian and other than heroin,  very health conscious. I have been afraid to alienate him and lose our connection but desparation is kicking in. I am too old to live on 3 hours of sleep a night. The fleas of the dog are certainly affecting him and me. Any suggestions of next step after confrontation?
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Avatar universal
Yeah, a lot of hugs, kisses, crying and making sure that he knows that you are commited to helping him through all this.  Maybe he'll realize what he's doing to your family and himself and want to stop all this nonsense.  I just hope that you don't have to go to step three.
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Avatar universal
Maybe the acupuncture was done on the wrong part of your body.  Try the other end next time and let us know what happened.  I'm dying to find out if it works!
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Avatar universal
"...and other than heroin, very health conscious."

Oh, that's all. Whoo. Thought it might be serious.

This sounds like a case of "Mom doesn't know as much as she thinks she does about her son."

If he's willing to put a drug that is cut on the street with strychnine (rat poison) into his body, I'd bet he's not just eating salad during the day. A mighty big wake up is coming around. Watch for it. Seriously.

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Avatar universal
Jon
Got a question.  I have been on vicodin for about two months now for chronic back pain.  I feel like what was once originally working to cure the pain is negating.  Its like I have to increase my dose myself to feel a little better.  I am always subsituted from 5/500 to 7.5/500 to 7.5/750 and I feel like with the 5/500 or 7.5/750 I need more codeine.  I feel like I am becoming addicted but I really don't want to.  It is the only thing that cures my pain and ends my misery.  I haven't been able to tell my doctor because I don't want to sound like a junkie and make him think I am abusing, but I don't know what else to do.  I don't want to over do it on the acetominophin and damage my liver and was wondering what anyone knew about vicoprofen.  I like ibuprofen better as an anagelsic anyway.  If anyone knows anything your help would be greatly appreciated.
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