Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Mom's Sad Heart - Yeah, that's me

Sometimes, when life seems like sunshine and rainbows, that dark storm comes out of nowhere.  I'm having a hard day.  Of course, it's my son.   No, B isn't using heroin.  But, he's sick. Very sick. He has that methadone poison that is still in his body.  He is going through ups and downs.  It's been 22 days since he left the methadone clinic.  B was using 80 mgs. of liquid methadone a day.  He tried to taper off many times, but would get really, really sick.  So, the clinic would yo-yo his dose.  For two years, he used methadone-- and I so wished he wouldn't have to go that route.  When B left the clinic, he was down to 50mg.  That's not the ideal way to do it but the $450.00 a month was no longer affordable for me, his father nor him.  They wanted $10.00 a day to do a taper... forgive me, but they're just legal pushers, in my opinion.

For one week, his doctor put him on dilaudid, because he could not start on suboxone right away. Why? Because the doctor said he'd go into full-blown withdrawals if he had methadone in his system.

Nice, huh?

B took two weeks of work to try and detox.  Only our insurance screwed us around, big time. They wouldn't pay for the suboxone ($300.00). It took a lot of phone calls (which my son did himself) and waiting for the appeals process, but that took 11 days to finally go through.  In the meantime, we paid $10.00 per daily dose, waiting for the red tape to be cleared.   It was a rough ride, which B supplemented with marijuana (which is legal in California, with a "license").

My son was in good spirits, feeling happy to be free of the methadone clinic.  I was feeling thankful (still am) that he was getting that poison out of his body.  Ironically, his insurance has approved him for the vivitrol shot.  B found where the co-pay (up to $500.00) will be covered.  Prices, I hear, are  about $800-$1000.00 per shot, per month.   B won't get the shot, just yet.  Right now, he's using subutex which he says helps a little bit.  But, he still has traces of methadone in his body (I've been reading how it builds up in bones), and so withdrawals simply aren't out of the question.

So, why am I so sad?  I'm that way, because my baby boy is sick.  I want to cry.  This is my precious boy, who was born with a good and healthy body.  It breaks my heart to know that his body is ravaged from five years of drug use.   Our relationship has been repaired.  But his body hasn't.

I try not to "fear" what I cannot control, predict nor fix.

But, today, I'm feeling deeply concerned for my son.  I am concerned that he is relying on weed to help him get through this phase.  I hate it.  Sure, I smoked weed in high school, so I would be a hypocrite to say that he can't.  In some ways, I get that marijuana has it's health benefits for certain medical conditions.  As I've said before, if my son smoked only weed-- it would be far better than going backwards with heroin.  Heroin is a disgusting drug. So is methamphetamine.  So is crack.  Let's face it.  Drug addiction and alcohol addiction devastates everything it touches-- isn't that why you're reading my blog?

I've done a brave job of keeping it real with my son's addiction, and struggle to stay sober.  But, today, I'm feeling like I'm teetering on fear.   I'm feeding off my own son's fear--

I think my son fears withdrawals more than anything.   From my own perspective, I feel as though he goes into a panic when the signs of withdrawals hit-- and he has to race out and buy weed.

But, here's the problem.  My. Son. Cannot. Afford. To. Buy. Drugs. Legal. Or. Illegal.

Here's my struggle.  I. Don't. Want. To. Buy. My. Son. Drugs. To. Keep. Him. From. Fear. Of. Withdrawal.

This is where my heart is so torn.  How easy would it be for me to buy his weed?  I'm not rich, but I could sacrifice my own needs to help my son feel better.

But, what good would that do?   My son is selling off his video games, to buy weed.  How do I know he's not using heroin?  I know. I just know.  I truly believe that my son doesn't want to use heroin. Ever. Again.

But, he's an addict.   He is struggling to get off the methadone that helped him to get off heroin that helped him to get off oxycontin, that started with cocaine, that goes back to smoking weed in Middle School that goes back to....

I know that it wouldn't be right for me to buy his weed. So, I won't.  But a mother's instinct is to protect her child.

My son is stuck in a viscous cycle.   I don't want to even entertain the thought of him relapsing.  I only wish he would work harder at finding a sponsor-- someone he can talk to.  B's argument is that meetings won't help with the physical withdrawals he's going through.  He says he doesn't want to use. But, he's sick and cannot function at his job in that condition.

I talked to my husband about how I'm feeling. He did exactly what I had hoped he would do.  He listened.  B isn't his own flesh and blood, so he can be pragmatic with his advice.  I'm B's mom.  He's my one and only child.  He is not a thief. He is never rude to me. In fact, he's downright respectful and helpful.

This is so hard, because it's easy for me to enable.

Having a child who is a drug addict is something I don't wish on anyone.  How I pray that my son will be set free of the bonds of addiction.  I pray he will grow to me a man who is clean and sober, and who will use his charisma and beautiful personality to help others.

But, right now, my son needs help.  I need to hang on, and be strong in my faith.


Dad and Mom said...


I am sorry B is going through all of this. There really isn't much you can do.

As far as buying weed for him. I'm sorry I just can't see that is an answer in any way shape of form. But you do what ever you feel you got to do. I'll just ask one question, where are your boundaries?

B is going to get sick one way or another. There is no easy way out of addiction. The piper must be paid. B has to want it more than the fear he has now.

We didn't know Alex was going cold turkey. We had told him it was his choice, a relationship with us or drugs. We got the point we could no longer go through his addiction with him. He did it in his girlfriends basement. He didn't know but he could have died doing what he did. In fact his girlfriend said she thought he was going to die. I have never ask for details other than she said he was so sick for so long there was only a skeleton and he shook so bad the floors felt like they were moving.

I guess that was Alex's profound experience. He actually loved his mom and dad more than his drugs. Pretty profound for us too.

A said...

Debby - I just came across your blog, i'm trying to set up one as a recovering addict. I'm 27 and my boyfriend of 8 years is in state funded, court mandated rehab which im happy for. Everything you've written about, i've seen or done. (Never shot up anything though, thankfully).
I've detoxed off oxys twice now using suboxone strips. I don't know if your son used the pills or the strips, but from my experience the strips are so much better then the pills.
I agree that methadone clinics set you up to get addicted to it so they make money off you, they start you at way higher doses then you need. I could take a lil capful and be good for 2 days. But everyones different.
The thing that got me to stop, was I had no other choice. My boyfriend got locked up, I got arrested with him and let go, but I had no car, no money, no electricity at my house and 3 big dogs to take care of. I would live in my car before I'd give away my dogs. My family still doesn't know, alot of my friends don't know so I didn't have many people to lean on, but maybe that was better for me. If I could freely talk about it, it might have been easier for me to get someone to help me get more pills. The fact that I had to hide it, I couldn't lay in bed all day, I had to take care of my dogs, and keep my life going without my family realizing what was wrong + the fact that my other half was in jail killed me. BUT it gave me the adrenaline rush that I needed to kick the habit and the sub strips worked in 6 days for me. No withdrawal nothing, just had to take them at the right time and theres a different time for everyone.
I haven't been addicted to meth so I don't know how that feels or what works to feel better.
I've started just writing every day just to get my feelings out, when I'm bored and home alone and really want to do pills I make myself sit down and write it out.
I grew up in a good home, went to a good school, had every opportunity I could want, and I chose this path because I never saw it coming. I thought I was stronger then it. I was wrong, but every day I get further and further from it and I have to finish this ride or stay on the same path forever.
If your son needs someone to talk to, let me know. I'm good at listening, probably know or have seen everything he is going through and can help be supportive.

A said...

Again, I just saw the picture of the suboxone pills on your side bar. Talk to his doctor about the strips. I def know about withdrawal, methadone withdrawal not so much, but if he hasn't tried the suboxone strips that might be an option. Of course they aren't for everyone, but its worth a shot right? The pills never worked for me and the strips were a miracle.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

An update since I posted this-- Ron, thank you for your valuable parental insights. I can't disagree with anything you said.
DEAR ANONYMOUS-- comments from addicts are very near and dear to my heart. Thank you for being so candid. My son is taking the suboxone strips. He says they help, but he still feels withdrawals.
I am working on holding back my maternal instincts to rescue my son. I know that he has to do this on his own. If I become weak, and enable him, then I am holding him back from finding true sobriety.
If you want to email me privately at I will honor your privacy. I'd be happy to share your experience with my son.

Bristolvol said...

If you help him get drugs (weed is an illegal drug) you risk killing your son and you yourself will risk getting in trouble with the law. I like what Dad said, check your boundaries. We cannot rescue our kids anymore. We have to turn them over to their higher power. In order to get clean and recover from drug addiction, he must overcome his fear of withdrawals or else he is not ready. I am sorry you are having to go through this. I keep you and your son in my prayers.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

Bristolol-- I hear what you are saying. Just know, that marijuana is LEGAL to buy in dispensaries in the state of California. All someone has to do is pay a physical an average of $150.00 and say that they have an ailment. In my son's case, he's a diabetic. Insomnia is a common reason a license to buy marijuana in California is granted. By the way, I did NOT vote to make it legal. But, the bill passed anyway.

Dad and Mom said...


Alcohol is legal here in KS, no prescription needed, not even a lame one.

If Alex wanted alcohol to help him with his issues there would be nothing I could do to keep him from getting it. But I'll be damned if I go buy it for him. Trade one problem for another or provide a gate to go back.

In my talks with students, in which I am doing one this morning. I tell them not everyone that smokes weed will be a heroin addict, but I have NEVER met a heroin addict that didn't start with weed.

Barbara said...

Oh Debby, I am so sorry your heart is hurting. Of course it would be - B is hurting. I don't have any answers but I do want to let you know I understand how you feel. Its so frustrating, there is no simple "plan" to get off drugs/methadone and its awful how expensive it is for people to get well in this country :(

I will disagree with Ron about weed. If I had my choice, I'd legalize weed and ban alcohol. Alcohol is far more addictive and dangerous and causes more deaths (traffic accidents mostly).

I am glad its legal here, I have a friend who was an alcoholic for over 30 years and used it to help him stay sober. Yes, its mind altering, but IF it can be used medicinally, it helps a lot of people.

If all it took for Keven to get off all other drugs was weed, I'd support that. I know this is not a popular opinion, but that's how I feel.

Keven hasn't used weed since he was in high school, so its of no interest to him, but I still rather see a stoned on weed Keven than a drunk or high Keven. It mellows him out whereas alcohol makes him aggressive and violent.

I'm thinking of you today and praying for you and B. Its really awful to have to deal with all these issues on top of all the other things in life. :(

Maija said...

I am so sorry Debby! I know your pain, and I will pray for your boy.

new mexico architect said...

It's a heart crashing story, but definitely gives a strong lesson for every mothers.

Anonymous said...

"I guess that was Alex's profound experience. He actually loved his mom and dad more than his drugs. Pretty profound for us too."

I'm not sure about this Ron, I believe that addicts have to want to get clean for themselves. Also, didn't Alex go to jail for several months after he went cold turkey? That would definitely help as far as going right back out there after going cold turkey. Jail was truly a blessing.

Yes, the piper needs to be paid, but many are helped by suboxone. Methadone is the worst possible treatment just as Debby is sharing here.

I love your blog Ron but lately some of the comments you have left on various blogs make me feel as if you feel you are the expert and your way is the only way.

I'm far from perfect myself but I just keep sensing pride when I read alot of your comments lately.

Dad and Mom said...


Just want to re-asure you that I in no way consider myself an expert in this mess. And I am the first to say there is more than one way to skin this cat.

Alex did in fact go to jail for six months after he went cold turkey. 6 weeks into that he was on work release. Others on work release in the same jail he was in were getting popped all the time for hot pee tests. Jail doesn't cure addicts but it ca provide motivation but if you aren't serious about becoming clear jail is not a deterent.

As far as him loving his family more than he loved drugs comment. That was indeed what he said. I agree he got clean for himself but what he told his mother after we told him that we no longer cared which path he choose and outlined our boundary he said he could not imagine his life with us outside of his life. That was the reason he went cold turkey.

My comment on here was a response from what I felt about B and Debby. Reading this I felt B wanted an easier way out. If there was an easy way out I'm sure there would be a lot more of us addicted.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. I found it by accident, while trying to find a support group in my area. I was wondering if you (or any readers here) have found help through al-anon? There are no nar-anon meetings where I live. I briefly attended al-anon 2 years ago when my son went to rehab, but honestly didn't give it a chance. I opened up to a very close friend about my son's heroin addiction (he is 22) and our friendship was never the same. I haven't told anyone since then. Now I always tell my friend "he's doing much better now" when she asks about him (even if it's complete BS) so we can avoid that awkward ugliness of addiction. So much for keeping it real.
God bless you and your son.

Anonymous said...

Dear Debby,
This blog has been a tremendous help. I am dealing with a sibling who is trying to get off of oxycotin. I came across this blog while I was trying to keep myself sane. Although I would do anything to help my sibling, I do not want to become an enabler. You're blog has given me much insight into the addict and the addiction. I pray that your son and your family stay strong.