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Friends & Families of Addicts Information for coping, dealing & living with a loved one's addictive behavior.

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Old 01-10-2016, 10:08 AM
sidewalker sidewalker is offline
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Default Heroin addiction questions

I know very little about it, and Ive got a few questions.
I know someone is was on heroin, stopped doing it with the help of some other drug. (I cant for the life of me remember what it is but its prescribed)
Not sure if this was by choice, or court ordered.
Was doing ok on it.
Then went to a rehab place and was supposedly off the drug keeping her off heroin.
She left rehab early (of her own choice) and then went back to using heroin.
She wants to stop the heroin but stay on that other drug.
Is that even possible?
I always thought those drugs were used to help them get off heroin but also only used temporarily.
(or checked, Methadone or suboxone was what she was using to stop heroin use)
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:08 AM
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I used to think that methadone or suboxone was the way to go for an addict to stop heroin use...however, through watching my daughter's struggle with her addiction, I have changed my mind.

Yes, the clinics and/or doctors are supposed to ween addicts off
methadone or suboxone. What I have found is that it often doesn't work; that the addict is trading one addiction for another and eventually returns to their drug of choice if they are not ready to be clean; that its just a way for the addict to maintain their addiction legally (at least for a short while) My daughter has tried both more than once, both failed. She is now in a recovery program for the second time, but had to hit a rock bottom that was far lower than I ever thought a person could go and survive. Her two youngest were born addicted, weened off drugs with drugs during prolonged hospital stays after their birth.

I don't know if I've actually answered your questions, but perhaps my experience, my daughters experience with heroin addiction has provided some insight. IMHO, if your lo wants to continue with methadone / suboxone, its a short term fix and she may not be ready to focus on recovery.

I'm so sorry for the whole situation, its absolutely heartbreaking.....I've lived it for the last several years and it tears me up; tears families apart in the most devastating of ways
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:58 PM
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Its likely that she may have been prescribed Methadone (sometimes marketed as its brand name Dolophine)
Someone who is addicted to heroin will often be prescribed methadone to take instead of heroin and the dose of methadone is gradually reduced over time. This means that the patient can give up heroin avoiding acute withdrawal symptoms.
However the effects of methadone are similar to heroin athough they dont deliver quite the same level of high or buzz.
Addicts prescribed methodone can develop an dependency on it and not wish to be taken off it. This can mean as said above its simply swapping one addiction for another.
In the UK the the goverment is looking as abstinence as the treatment method .Its harsher and offers no alternative drug but the results are more lasting and successful in early stage trials.
Addiction is so devasting to the user and to the family.
I wish your friend well.
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:24 PM
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My mom was addicted to heroine for many years. She then was on methodone for so long it made her life quality literally at a 0. She was manipulative to the people giving her methodone because when they ask if you need to lower your dose as an addict you still are able to get high. I just hate it because like some already said its a legal way of continuing addiction versus getting real help. My mom graduated off of methodone to crystal meth and is now worst then ever when I feel like if when she first seeked help off of heroine and actually did a 12 step program (which is the only SUCCESSFUL program I've seen work) then she wouldn't be so (excuse my French) but royally fucked up now �� Smh but good luck with everything my advice is stay away from the methodone! And pray.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:04 PM
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In my experience, suboxone prolongs the process. As long as she is taking it she shouldn't have the cravings but if she stops they come back. That's what my patients tell me. It's rather expensive as well and some insurances will only cover it for a certain time frame. Im sure she could take it again it might have to be long term. I have some people that been on it over 10 yrs.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:27 AM
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Here's my opinion. I used to use, but heroin I was forbidden from. But... It was around and I saw the methadone back then. The suboxone I've heard now, seems the same theory. I've never seen anyone successful with swapping and deciding they were done. It's just changing courses. Personally, and I quit on my own because I wanted and needed to, if I wanted to really be done and it was before court order, I would use less and less each day until I either needed help or was done. Of course i do have a control issue which keeps me from getting out of control. But that's the point. It's a substitute. But legally can be prescribed. Going to a Dr they can't say come here and I'll give you less. All the drug wars have made that not possible. So they came up with something similar. Drug addicts aren't dumb when it comes to drugs. It's paid sometimes thru insurance. And family supports it. And they can keep saying I'm trying. But it really is trading one for another. And some I've heard from say the pharmaceutical one is worse on the body. ?? Remember, there is no cure for addictive personalities. Period. That I know of. Best bet is find another addiction which is ok. Health, religion, working.... Those can all also be addictions but never picked on because it's different. I also don't consider all users to be addicts. But that's another topic.
If her demand is suboxone, and has no intention of getting off for good, it's a way around the rules.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:40 AM
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thanks for the insights.
It was as I thought too. (replacing one addiction for another)
I'd agree a 12 step would probably help considerably (in conjunction with the other medications)
I dont know if she has insurance or is doing this thru the state, or what.

I dont think that sadly she is ready to stop.
And it is terribly sad.
Thank you all for your insight here.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:33 PM
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was a heroin addict for over 30 yrs and to me Methadone was a joke, I would go on the 21 day detox to slow my roll so that I could have a cooling off period and of course I still used. A far as the Maintenance Program went, I saw way to many ppl on it and still used, Good friends who had been in the Program over 15 yrs. I personally never wanted it. I stopped 15 yrs ago when my late husband died while I was on a state paid vacation. I walked out that gate and never went back. I knew I had to change me in order to change my life. I went back to school and became an Addiction Specialist and I ended up over seeing 3 different facilities, until my health issues became a factor. Not everyone can walk away from this drug or others as easy as I did. Losing my late husband was a game changer for me. It is up the user to make that decision to walk away and never look back. You have to have that will and determination. Yes, some programs do help, 12 step, Rehab, Counseling again it is up to the person to want to change their behavior. I did not seek help it was my pure and simple determination and will to live. I feel empathy for those who struggle with it, that is why I went into the counseling field. I know the hopelessness and guilt that one feels. Heroin is a powerful drug and is making such a come back. I don't do much counseling now, I am into consulting programs and training staff. A person may have to rock bottom so many times before they are sick an tired of being sick and tired. The help is there but the have to want it and be willing to change your behavior and thinking. I wish your friend Sidewalker to find her way out of her hell. I empathize with her pain.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:25 AM
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Suboxone gave my ex a high much like heroin and he traded one addiction for the other. After Suboxone stopped doing the job, he went right back to heroin.

Here in Mass, local municipalities are giving addicts shots of Vivitrol to curb the cravings and give addicts a fighting chance to kick that crap. They are very much on the bandwagon of getting addicts into treatment vs. locking them up. Time and time again it has been shown giving addicts jail time just doesn't work so they are trying a new approach. Hopefully it works, but the reality is the addict won't stop until they are ready and have sunk past rock bottom. Same thing with my ex. It had to be his decision...no one else's. His rock bottom landed him a 10 yr. federal prison sentence for bank robbery.

As an aside, it is scary to me how readily available heroin is. I have known dealers and watch how much money they have made feeding these peoples' addictions. They will literally do anything to score and will beg the dealer to meet them just because they are dope sick and can't function without the drug. It breaks my heart to watch the destructive toll it takes. Unfortunately, I think it's a war that will never be won.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:08 PM
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Sigh! I agree with the previous comments.
Personally speaking, there's NO greater heartache then losing a child!
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:29 AM
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I was a heroin addict for around 6-7 years. I was diagnosed as bipolar at the age of 12-13 when I was in rehab for the first time addicted to morphine pills. That is scary to say. I have a daughter who is 9 and my boyfriends daughter is 10. We talk about the things we did when we were around those ages and it scares the shit out of me. My daughters are my everything. So, yes people can get clean but when they can't I believe there is some level of chemical imbalance that they are using drugs as a substitute for. There are things like methadone, suboxone, and subutex. Those are prescribed here in the US. I think it's personal opinion on if these things work, or if they are just trading one addiction for another. For some the suboxone has been something to finally keep them off. They were on it for a few years, weaned off and now are successful. I think it all depends on the person. I think there are a wide variety of different reasons why people continue to go back and we need to have a bigger picture mentality when looking. We need to look at all the leading factors so that we can help them to be successful when they stay off. Some people need years of counseling, support groups, etc. Some people don't realize that there are triggers in your environment and if you continue to hang out with the same ol' crowd the same ol thing is going to happen. That is why psycho educational groups are so important. There are a wide variety of reasons someone started using, continues to use, and will continue to relapse. Obviously prevention and abstinence is the best methods but when someone is in the midst of a fullblown addiction unfortunately they are the only person that can change. They have to want it. They have to fight for it. Its like a hole that you dug yourself into that no one gives you tools to get out of until you reach the top. You dug the hole now you have to suffer for a bit to climb out. The first year is the worst where people relapse the most. Neurologically there is a change and a continuous change and psychologically they do not feel normal. It's easier to go back then to deal with that sometimes, unfortunately. Again I think it's best to promote a treatment plan that encompasses finding out the reasons this individual is using and then giving them the tools to help overcome their addiction, since most providers that give out methadone, suboxone and subutex work hand in hand with the pharmaceutical companies for their benefit and payroll it's best to keep you on...(this isn't all providers...but unfortunately most. Money makes the world go round..apparently)
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:58 AM
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When my ex and I were together, I'd always wished I could arrange his bottom for him.
Never happened. He still struggles with drug usage but at least he's not on them 24-7.
Hopefully he is now clean for good. His health wont take much more abuse.

But this other person is young. I hope she finds a way to getting herself clean.
She has alot to lose.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:29 PM
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My LO said those medications just make things worse.
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