Son's addiction to pain pills

Tammy - posted on 11/20/2013 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I wrote about my Son who is 33 and alcohol free for 10 months this month. Recently had a tooth pulled and they prescribed him narcotics for the pain. Now he has that need again. He said as long as he is not around them , he does not want them. This is the problem. He has much more dental work to be done due to neglect. What do we do ? Does he have to have narcotic pain meds to take away the pain? I failed to mention he does have an addiction to pain pills.

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Julie A - posted on 11/20/2013

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Also if he is using a good dentist he should not have alot of pain after an extraction. That is really the most painful procedure Afterwards so he should not need them. The Vicodin prescribed should be the 500mg and are the weak ones an has the same amount as the 2 Tylenol an 4 ibuprofen without the hydrocodone. I'm assuming his other dental work is fillings an root canal which are uncomfortable but not painful, again if using a good dentist. Remember the dentist gives lidocaine shots in the mouth before any procedure an there shouldn't be any pain if done correctly so he should be okay .

Julie A - posted on 11/20/2013

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I've been in recovery for 3 years. I was addicted to loritab and soma for about 5 years after my neck surgery.It is so hard, I'm 33. I went to a rehab bc I wanted help. If your son wants help he can get it. I'm also a dental assistant and my dentist tells patients to take 2 Tylenol (500 mg) and 4 ibuprofen . Depending on how many pills and how long he has taken them will determine how bad his withdrawal will be. If he has only 10, it shouldn't be bad. The Tylenol an Ib work.
If he gets addicted again an really wants help, there is a new med on the market they give at rehab. The med is suboxone , it's an opiate blocker and it takes the withdraw pain away an after a week or 2 you stop it. Took me a week or so and everyday you cut your dose a little. There are no dangerous side effects. You can find a doc to prescribe it. Because it is almost impossible to get off cold turkey or just wean off with the same med or other narcotics. You should google suboxone . As far as support he needs it from you. Whatever you do don't enable him or support him any other way besides emotionally when he is using. This is an epidemic! So many ppl are addicted to prescription meds an it's sad. Please message me if I can help in any way. Best wishes-Julie

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/21/2013

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Tammy,

EXCELLENT! He's taken the biggest (and hardest) step. Now, with you and his support system, AA/NA, and the rest, he'll move forward just fine. My husband is a mentor now, has been for almost 25 years. (He was freshly straight when I met him, and his continued "clean" state was a condition of mine when we married)

He (and you, too) needs to know that there will be challenges, such as this one that he's just surmounted (yes, he WON this one!) They won't stop coming, ever. But as he progresses and gets further into clean & sober, each challenge will be easier.

Julie's recommendation of the tylenol/IB combo is exactly what my oral surgeon recommends. He claims (and I've yet to see this proved wrong) that taking 2 tylenol before leaving the chair will stave off the ache and then you can follow up in an hour or two with the IB.

Make sure that YOU get some respite as well. Alanon is an excellent resource for you as the parent/support group member for him.

Now, since you ended your last post with Amen! ;-) I'll let you know that you and he (and family) are in my thoughts & prayers! With all of this support, your boy (Yes, I know, he is still your boy, even though he's an adult) will prosper!

Plus, being a support team member myself, if you have a day when you need to vent...PM me. I am here, and you can rant & rave/vent/cry/laugh/celebrate all you need to!

Tammy - posted on 11/21/2013

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Thank you Shawnn. We had a long talk last night. I think I panicked when I saw what the dentist had given him. He is now coming down from the meds and feels terrible. I talked to him about how it is his decision and his only to ask for non narcotic pain relief. He agreed that it is a wise choice and further said he did not want to go back to that life. Yes he is in treatment for his mental illness. Very important. He suffers from manic depression, OCD, ADHD etc…the list goes on. He is learning coping skills and learned a lot from rehab. And we held our own AA/NA meeting last night as well. Now he wants to start up an AA meeting place here to help others. Amen!

Tammy - posted on 11/21/2013

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Thank you so much Julie. I had a long talk with him last night. He said he is strong enough to know he does not want any more narcotics for pain. The 10 he did take took a toll on him as he is coming down off of them and feels terrible. He has worked so hard to stay clean. 10 months of hard work. He is very proud of himself and I am as well. I guess I panicked when the dentist gave him a script of narcotic pain killers. I do know what you are talking about as being an enabler. I was an enabler at one time and did not realize it. Now I know he has to do the work and my part is being there for him emotionally. I think he can handle this. Thanks again so much. Have a blessed day.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/20/2013

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And I'm married to a recovered meth addict.

I fully understand addiction, and it's issues. You're posting on the main CoM board, so everyone is going to see your question and chime in.

And, yes, if you've lived in that situation, you do understand. We, in our home are always on the look out for possible issues regarding narcotics, as they are a constant in our lives due to disability. When my teenager was given oxycontin as a pain management tool, I dispensed the pills, and he only took 2 of the 10 prescribed because of the high addiction rate for that medication. As soon as he could, he transitioned to ibuprofen.

An addict is never NOT an addict. They are always referred to as "in recovery" because of the ease of relapse. It is for this reason that, if your son wants to stay drug free, he needs to be the responsible one and speak up. If he doesn't, you (by law) cannot do anything because he's over the age of consent. If he feels he isn't strong enough, then he needs to give you medical power of attorney so that you have the legal authority to tell his treatment providers to not prescribe narcotics.

If he has previously diagnosed mental problems, is he receiving treatment for that? If so, his physicians need to be part of the support team.

I never said you can't support your son, but he's got to be the one taking the reins. If he's truly ready to give up the drugs, he can find it within himself to be strong enough to tell his treatment providers that he cannot take schedule I narcotics. (unless you have that POA, which then would give you the authority to do so)

Tammy - posted on 11/20/2013

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He knows he is an addict. He has been to rehab. He has been clean for 10 months until a few days ago when he had an emergency tooth extraction. He only had 10 pills but his reaction to his dad and I when we took them from him was enough for me to see that he is not strong enough yet, We will continue to be strong for and with him. But unless a person has been through this with their child (in my case young adult to adulthood) they don't understand that I can not make these choices for him. I know he has to do it himself by telling the dentist. But the temptation is so strong when you know it is so easily accessable. I think I joined the wrong parent group. It plainly said on the site I signed up for was for people with or dealing with loved ones who have addictions.

Tammy - posted on 11/20/2013

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Easier said than done. He is an addict. When I first signed up for Circle of Moms I mentioned he also has mental problems. No I won't call the dentist and say "MY BABY CAN'T TAKE NARCOTICS". I simple am scared he will become out of control once we start getting his teeth pulled. I honestly don't know if he is stong enough mentally yet to "JUST SAY NO". He has been clean only 10 months until recently when he had an emergency extraction.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/20/2013

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There are plenty of non narcotic solutions on the market, and if he asks his dentist, he can prescribe appropriately.

However, he's 33. If he doesn't mention to the dentist that he shouldn't have narcotics, he'll probably get them. What are you going to do? Call the dentist and say "my baby can't take narcotics"?

He has to be the adult here, admit that he's got a problem with narcotics, and ask the dentist for something else. The dentist won't penalize him or think less of him because of it.

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He does not need narcotics for the dental work. There are a lot of other options for pain management his dentist can use. When he goes in for the work, he MUST let the doctors and nurses know about his history so that they can put together a treatment plan for him that does not involve narcotics. They won't do it unless he tells them he needs them to.

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