Sunday, November 23, 2008

Suboxone and Sobriety

Dear "Anonymous"

Suboxone...yes, I am fully aware of that drug. For those of you who aren't, I'll dig up the link that I found that will educate you on the medical aspect of it.

In essence, suboxone is designed to "neutralize" the receptors so that the effects of opiates won't work on that addict's brain. However, it is a band-aid and my son has and is taking it.

Therein likes the root of my son's struggle to stay clean. I have read countless medical studies on this-- and I think that, (like methadone) it's not the solution. The danger in subutex and/or suboxone is that addicts use this to "chip". My son admits that he did exactly this. "Chipping" means that he'd use oxy or heroin and then use suboxone to avoid the withdrawals.

My son is in a vicious cycle of addiction. He is lost in the depths of depression, hopelessness and his brain's constant desire to want to "use". My son self-medicates himself to escape these feelings.

It is the most helpless feeling in the world for me to experience. I have NO idea what it's like to be an addict. I do not know the agony of the physical pain that an opiate addicts goes through. I am not an addict, so it seems so logical that my son needs to go to meetings, every single day. I see the logical solution. But, I am not an addict...

I have received anonymous emails from people who come across as seeing me an insensitive to my son's dilemma. I would not be blogging my feelings in such a public way, if I did not care for my son as much as I do.

It is very hard for me to find a separation of my son, the "just turned 20 year old" and my son "the opiate addict". I have to work hard to separate his reckless behavior as being typical teenager immaturity and addictive behavior.

I am going into counseling with my husband. I feel myself heading into an emotional breakdown because of my son's addiction. While I cannot understand the pain of an addict, I am feeling the pain of a mother who is watching her son live a life that I can only describe as "pure hell".

The only time that I can feel "joy" is to shut down talking about him. This is not healthy. I've tried to find a support group that can help me-- but there isn't one in my area. Al-Anon doesn't help because my son doesn't have an alcohol addiction. I tried my local Celebrate Recovery group, but I haven't met one other parent who shares my situation.

I am in prayer about this.

My son needs more than a band-aid. He needs to be free of all prescription drugs. He has a long struggle ahead of him to do this, and this will be his lifelong struggle.

Thank you for your prayers.


Anonymous said...

I wish you and your son the best, Debby. I am in recovery from opiate addiction myself-- lost my anesthesia career to addiction before becoming a psychiatrist. Suboxone isn't perfect, but if used correctly it can be more than a band-aid. Unfortunately, the information from most of the 'recovery boards' is usually driven by emotion, rather than by medical experience. Please read this article and tell me what you think:

Take care.
Jeffrey T Junig MD PhD
Suboxone Talk Zone

Anonymous said...

Me again...
As I read through your comments I saw that you wrote that you don't know what it is like to be addicted... For good or for bad, that is one thing I know too well. I'm not trying to drum up business-- but I am trying to write a book that captures the personality factors that came together in my own addiction-- the ones that I have since learned are dangerous. Some traits I once saw as assets turned out to be liabilities. I give the short version of my story at one of my web sites-- you will find it here:
Please use the links there to contact me if I can be of help.

Jeffrey T Junig MD PhD

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Debbie, as a non-addict I am sure "your solution" is that he just needs to stop using drugs and he will be everything you thought he once was or would keep looking for him to wake up one morning and be everything you wish he would's not unlike finding out your son has schizophrenia or epilepsy....only with those illnesses you would have by now faced the reality of his disease and realized the limitations of them. You would have reconciled that there will be some things in life he will never be able to do--like live without medication or the symptoms of those illnesses--and found a way to help him make the most of this card he was dealt.

Unfortunately, with addiction society tells us that all a person has to do is stop using drugs and everything will be just as it was before addiction.

Addiction is about what happens to someone when using drugs has become the least of their problems. Your son will not magically become what you THINK he should be just because he stops using drugs....only non-addicts see it this simply. As a society our whole focus is about ending drug use, instead of TREATING addiction. Only addicts know the truth, that if it were that simple there wouldn't be any need for rehab, meetings or medications to treat addiction.

I understand wanting more for your son and wanting him to make the most out of his life, but until you introduce yourself to the SON YOU HAVE instead of trying to make him the son you want him to be and stop ignoring his struggles instead of pretending that he will magically wake up one day and be cured---until that day you will be wasting a lot of time that you could be using to just LOVING him.

An active drug addict has a pretty good chance of not making it to a ripe old age--do what it takes to help him live a good life-but realize there is only so much you can control. Enjoy the little things--this is something you will NEVER regret if you loose him. said...

His pain is your pain.
He likes drugs, it's you who hurts.

He sees that looking at him in the way that you see him hurts you, so he tries to show you himself differently.

What hurts him is knowing that he's hurting you;

you hurt because you think that he's hurting himself.

But he likes it.