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I'm 6 months free and now I find out my son is an addict. Help me please buddies


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My son has been out of college for two years.  He moved to another state to seek employment in his field . He has worked on and off in his craft . His dad and I have financially helped him make ends meet. His last visit home, long story short, we realized he was on drugs. Full disclosure  is a whopping habit of 8 mg of Xanax and Subutex per day.  He very much wants to stop and we want to allow him to move home to get his life back together. We want to start with a 10 day, outpatient clinic to taper him offthe Subutex (out of state place found on internet that looks reputable. We had a long talk with their doc). At the clinic they would change him over from Xanax to Valium. He would return home and taper off the Valium with the help of a psychiatrist.  Could be a very long haul because as we all know  Benzo withdrawal is not quick. He will still be withdrawing from Subutex too, l assume, although the drug will have been stopped after 10 days at the clinic.  As long as he obeys all our rules is it OK to help him?  is the first time he has asked for help with drugs although he has been on Subutex for 4 years and street Xanax for 1 year approximately. . We knew of marijuana smoking but nothing else. I want to provide but tough love. He has no other place to go because he has no money saved yet. I love him more than anything and want him to succeed. Any advice or comments?  Thank you all in advance

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I would help him . I was where he was five years ago. I tried to come off Sub' cold turkey but it was too painful. Same with Xanax. It took almost two years to wean off the two.

 

Subutex has something like a 60 hour half life, so if you were to stop it today, the Real withdrawals won't begin for ten days. He'll feel irritable the first few days, but the actual withdrawals hit around day nine to day ten.

 

I'm saying this because the ten day detox would be a waste of time and money. There's a website called suboxforum, they can give you some good advice.

 

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Not everyone has a terribly difficult time withdrawing from benzodiazepines, particularly so if this is his first use and withdrawal. 

 

Wanting to stop is huge.  He may be able to do this at home more easily than in a detox facility if so.  I don't know what the costs are in the facility you found, I do know that would be a consideration for me. 

 

If he can get on a taper schedule and stick to it at home, that would be my choice for my own child, I think. 

 

Though most people say not to taper two drugs at once, I think I would give this some thought since he is not prescribed and you have no doctor for refills.  The first cut from Xanax could be about .5mg, which is somewhere between 5 and 10% of 8mg.  I know nothing about Subutex, but it looks like offeveything27 does and I'm sure other members do, too.  You can post in Other Medications about a reasonable taper from the Subutex.

 

As far as the cannabis, knowing what I know now about the medicinal benefits, personally, I might look into using this to his benefit.  A puff of an indica strain when things got rough can be helpful.  I'm in a legal state, my own cannabis doctor has told me more than once that he has used cannabis to help wean his benzodiazepine and opioid patients successfully.

 

Here is a free website that has a lot of good information about how to use cannabis for opioid addiction/withdrawal: Healing.com.  I listened to Dr. Sulak speak at a conference this year and he is a very reputable and well informed physician with several clinics in Maine. 

 

We also have several CBD (cannabidiol) oil threads on the forum that may give you more information.  CBD oil, which is not psychoactive, seems to be effective for people who've been trying it.

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I'd clearly help him out. I'd try to be very firm about it though and make him understand how important it is that you'll support him but only if he truly wants off these drugs. I assume he's otherwise fairly young and healthy and he may have few problems with the Xanax withdrawal. Many people don't. The other drug I'm sorry...don't know much about it. And the CBD cannibas oil might work great for any harsh sxs. This is only me, but, I'd also insist that he maybe find a support group such as NA, at least for awhile, to keep him from relapsing. This is a street drug, recreational type addiction so I'd see that he has support other than just moving home. My son was a raging alcoholic. Now six years sober. It wasn't until he finally wanted help that we could help. He almost lost his wife, son, his life. Heartache after heartache though. B
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Chal is right, the majority of people have little difficulty coming off of them their first time around. However, those are usually not the ones that find their way here. Most find their way way here by "googling" their symptoms.  I think that Valium is a excellent choice as a cross over benzdiazepines. It's longer half life will hopefully provide a smoother ride down for him should he experience withdrawal symptoms. I personally do not know anything about Subutex, so I can not give any advice there. I personally think it would be awesome if you could help him. You know how much it will start to get him from start to finish.  :smitten:
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Maybe it's better to taper the Xanax directly, or switch to diazepam when he is at a lower dose of Xanax.

 

High doses of diazepam are best avoided IMO.

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I agree with liberty re the Valium. I've been on X, A and K. Was doing awesome on straight Ativan cut, then K. Yes I had sxs but all very manageable. No agoraphobia but rather out and about more than I had been in many years. Way more energy. But then I read the book Benzo Wise and literally freaked. Started googling like crazy just as bRc mentioned. Freaked even more. Pleaded with my benzo doc for the wonderful drug called Valium. He reluctantly agreed because I was so positive it must be the only way. Maybe it is for some but within weeks my life was hell. Valium made, and still does cause me extreme fatigue, depression, weakness and my agoraphobia came back within days. So since this is his first go round with the Xanax I'd dry cut as long as possible. If when he gets much lower, and runs into trouble, only then would I consider Valium. I know it's a godsend for many, but for me as I said utter hell. Why did I try to fix something that wasn't broken? Because of a very biased book and googling. Just my 2 cents. Just hope your son recovers well no matter what. B
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I think you have to help him out. Having said that give a thought to yourself. This may get very stressful and bring back some unpleasant memories. You are not very far out in your own recovery. My advice would be for you to have a person outside the family that you can vent to if it all gets to be too much. Above all don't ever blame yourself for his present situation. It is not your fault any more than it is his.
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I agree with b rabbit. We as I know all too well tend to put our kids first. But if this messes up your recovery that's not right. Not right for you, or your son. So maybe think about yourself first right now. Are you strong enough? It's possible you are. That would be great. But, if you are in doubt I'd have some backup plans. B
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I agree that you should help him. I go to Narcotics Anonymous and find it extremely helpful. I used to abuse zoplicone, that's what led me there. The only downside to NA is that some people are very judgemental about benzo use and might try and convince him to go cold turkey.

Personally I would be hesitant to advocate using marjahuana but that is because I have met many in NA whose lives were destroyed by that drug. I don't judge anyone who has been helped by it.

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I am overwhelmed at the help available here.  You are all so wonderful to have posted with great advice and enthusiasm; buddies, moderators and administrators alike.  I wish I could know you all in person.  I wish we could all hang out together.  My son and I have our first doctor/psyc appointment tomorrow with a addiction specialist.  We will discuss if the 10 day clinic reality (based on the extreme long half life of the Subtex) or the possibility of a medically supervised taper in my home and how to go about it.  Let's see if this doc will be useful and knowledgeable about both these drugs. He has 34 years addiction experience.  I will try to keep an open mind.  Does anyone know if a doctor can legally prescribe Subutex and a benzo together (state of NC).  May sound like a funny question but my son heard somewhere that it was illegal. He has been using street drugs and my fear is that a doctor won't prescribe the same drugs for him in order to get him off.  I will post tomorrow after the appointment.  For those of you who are worried about me, thanks.  The first 2 days I found out I felt like I was right back in acute.  The last 2 days have been a little better.  I do have support from my husband and we will definitely look into N/A.  I may end up getting him on this site but probably not.  I need something just for myself.  I really want to try and do this.  I need to be able to handle catastrophes without drugs.  I am smart. If I can't do it I will go to plan B.  I don't want my son to ruin the rest of his life.  I cannot believe we will now go thru this journey together and I will have to watch him go through acute.  Be assured there is no way I would ever take another benzo.
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I am overwhelmed at the help available here.  You are all so wonderful to have posted with great advice and enthusiasm; buddies, moderators and administrators alike.  I wish I could know you all in person.  I wish we could all hang out together.  My son and I have our first doctor/psyc appointment tomorrow with a addiction specialist.  We will discuss if the 10 day clinic reality (based on the extreme long half life of the Subtex) or the possibility of a medically supervised taper in my home and how to go about it.  Let's see if this doc will be useful and knowledgeable about both these drugs. He has 34 years addiction experience.  I will try to keep an open mind.  Does anyone know if a doctor can legally prescribe Subutex and a benzo together (state of NC).  May sound like a funny question but my son heard somewhere that it was illegal. He has been using street drugs and my fear is that a doctor won't prescribe the same drugs for him in order to get him off.  I will post tomorrow after the appointment.  For those of you who are worried about me, thanks.  The first 2 days I found out I felt like I was right back in acute.  The last 2 days have been a little better.  I do have support from my husband and we will definitely look into N/A.  I may end up getting him on this site but probably not.  I need something just for myself.  I really want to try and do this.  I need to be able to handle catastrophes without drugs.  I am smart. If I can't do it I will go to plan B.  I don't want my son to ruin the rest of his life.  I cannot believe we will now go thru this journey together and I will have to watch him go through acute.  Be assured there is no way I would ever take another benzo.

 

I doubt it. It's easy to overdose when you mix the two. They might tho . Doctors are book smart but not street smart . I hope everything goes well. ! God bless you for being there for him. I have friends that never got sober because they never had support . Take care

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I am overwhelmed at the help available here.  You are all so wonderful to have posted with great advice and enthusiasm; buddies, moderators and administrators alike.  I wish I could know you all in person.  I wish we could all hang out together.  My son and I have our first doctor/psyc appointment tomorrow with a addiction specialist.  We will discuss if the 10 day clinic reality (based on the extreme long half life of the Subtex) or the possibility of a medically supervised taper in my home and how to go about it.  Let's see if this doc will be useful and knowledgeable about both these drugs. He has 34 years addiction experience.  I will try to keep an open mind.  Does anyone know if a doctor can legally prescribe Subutex and a benzo together (state of NC).  May sound like a funny question but my son heard somewhere that it was illegal. He has been using street drugs and my fear is that a doctor won't prescribe the same drugs for him in order to get him off.  I will post tomorrow after the appointment.  For those of you who are worried about me, thanks.  The first 2 days I found out I felt like I was right back in acute.  The last 2 days have been a little better.  I do have support from my husband and we will definitely look into N/A.  I may end up getting him on this site but probably not.  I need something just for myself.  I really want to try and do this.  I need to be able to handle catastrophes without drugs.  I am smart. If I can't do it I will go to plan B.  I don't want my son to ruin the rest of his life.  I cannot believe we will now go thru this journey together and I will have to watch him go through acute.  Be assured there is no way I would ever take another benzo.

 

My heart goes out to you and your family! We recently had a crisis to deal with with our son and my withdrawal symptoms skyrocketed. It was horrible. But things are calming down. Anyway, what I wanted to tell you was the doctor that had me on clonazepam is a addiction specialist in the city I live in. Plus, he ran the local detox unit in the city for many years. And he told me he never saw anyone have problems going off a benzo like I did and said I was sensitive. So please be careful with the psychiatrist. I do not trust them. Even if they are a so-called addiction specialist. If he doesn't know of the Ashton manual or doesn't have a clue about how addictive and dangerous benzos are and how awful the withdrawal is I would not see him again. My prayers will be going up for you and your family. Love, Grandma Dee

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The scarier and scarier it gets. I don't know what to do or who to trust. If I can't trust an addiction specialist then where do turn?  Do I do this myself completely in my fragile state or does he go inpatient somewhere. I have been told by a former young pill addict that inhouse rehab is the only way to get better. If anyone knows of a good place please message me. I don't think BB allows endorsements and I guess that's good.  I am at the mercy of the internet. Ugh. They want to take your money. This is my precious son. God in heaven help us. I am tying to get ready for the appointment. My symptoms are out of this world...almost back to acute. I hope they ease up but I fear until we at least have a plan in place I'm in for a very rough ride. I pray for strength. It's good my husband goes to work each day so he is fresh to help on the evenings. My heart goes out to anyone who hasn't got support. I'll report back. Ps. If it's  true the dr can't legally prescribe both drugs for him what should I do?  My love to you all
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Benzo Barb. Just read your post on switching to valium for a taper. I had read the ashton maual and switching to valium seemed like a good idea However, my special addiction doc refused to switch me from ativan to valium. He felt that this would bring an unknown drug to the' Recovery Table' and that I should stick with the ativan and taper down from that slowly. I am not getting huge side effects from my taper. My biggest problem is exhaustion from the insomnia which is caused by the P.S.T.D and also nerve pains in my lower legs at times. I think that when I clear the benzos and get back my C.N.S to normality, the P.S.T.D. will also improve.

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I go to Narcotics Anonymous and find it extremely helpful. That would build in some support for him outside of the home. Personally I am leery of pot because I have met many for whom it was a major problem. But to each his own. I am a fan of the twelve step model. Maybe you could seek help at All Anon?
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I think that in-patient de-tox units do not work. because normal de-tox methods do not apply to benzo withdrawal We cannot get off the benzo drugs in two weeks and then be fine (I wish !!!!) Our withdrawals can and usually do take months of slow tapering. Any' Program' that promises anything else is lying and just wants money. Ideally to make it all work for your family you need;

 

1- Your addiction specialist to prescribe and set up a withdrawal schedule.

2-Some sort of group therapy for your son

3- Group therapy for the whole family

4- Activities and 'Me' time for you and you alone. Get away from the drama for a few hours

5-Enough sleep and good nutrition for everyone

6- Family rules for the house. Your son helps as much as he is able. Good for him, and keeps you from becoming the family slave

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DeeJay I think try to remain calm and above all see the addiction specialist. Hear him/her out. As far as Valium for the Ativan, well, I'm not an Ashton fan at all but it has worked for some. Like brave r said his addiction specialist said no. So did mine at first but he was well aware of the Ashton method. Very much aware. I took Xanax for 28 years before my old doctor switched me right over to Ativan and Klonopin. That's when my life went to pieces. I was doing very well cutting the Ativan and Klonopin without Valium but I'd read the book Benzo Wise and kept insisting I have Valium. Finally he said ok. Now I'm dragging along miserably with the Valium. I'm just hoping my doctor doesn't say I told you so. It's been toxic for me but I'm stuck with it. I should have listened to him. I think the key is ask the doctor if they even know about it. If they don't they are not very benzo savvy. Your son is young and I honestly think he may have an ok time withdrawing from it. The other drug maybe it's best he get inpatient detox. I'mjust not sure but you have to look after you. There's no reason he can't slowly taper the Xanax at home and help you out etc. Also, I'd avoid expensive rehab inpatient places. They have no idea about benzos. No way six weeks will work. As hard as it is remember you come first. It's very hard when are kids do this. Very hard but he's a lucky boy he has you. B
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Went to doc. He spoke to my son first then me. This is a doc who most often prescribes suboxone for heroin addicts but is leading in the field of addiction. Just want you to know that fact. Not a fan of the 10 day for benzodiazepines and has "heard" of the Ashton Manual. He definitely understands the very slow taper. Said he would do best in his opinion with slowly tapering off Xanax, staying on his current dose of Subutex. I think he would change him over to Suboxone. Says there are pros to changing him to a different benzo but is having us come back tomorrow because we were running 20 minutes into the next appointment. He is going to want my son to get into therapy too. I think we are going to do this. It will be a long haul but the reality of getting off both invidious drugs at the same time would be brutal. We all know how hard this one is. I am praying that because he is younger and it will be his 1st time coming off that he may not have as hard a time as we all have. That being said he is my blood. Once he gets off, or at a much lower dose we can tackle the subs, another real tough one to come off of because of its incredibly long half life. I have heard some of your comments on switching to another benzo. I'd love to hear more before we return for the 2nd appt at 2 pm est today (at this point of writing it's already 5:30 am next day).Should we be aware of anything regarding a crossover drug? I think slow cuts are the best. I hope we will be given the choice.

 

 

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