Relapse and OD

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Origami, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    I should have known not to get too excited about GFG27, but he was doing so well having been off heroin for 8 months since his house arrest started in April. He got off house arrest, has an attorney working on his pending case (heroin possession), and started a great job a couple of months ago. He and wife have been getting along well, and are making plans to move themselves and kids out of our house and into their own apartment in March.

    Well, Saturday morning, his wife knocked on our bedroom door and said she thinks he has ODed. They had been out to eat and a movie (kids were staying overnight with her sister, thank goodness). She woke up about 4 a.m. and found him on the floor unresponsive. He finally came to and was able to walk, and husband and I drove them to the ER. By that time, he was talking and somewhat alert. They checked his vitals, said he'd be OK, and were going to assign him a social worker. He already has one, though, from a previous visit to a treatment center a couple of weeks ago at the insistence of his wife, who had been afraid he would relapse once he got some money.

    His wife is pretty familiar with heroin and OD, as her sister is currently in prison for heroin possession and had ODed several times. She was very worried about him and she had to work the next day, but kept calling me to check on him. He told her that he took two bags, and he gave her four more that she flushed. He says he doesn't remember anything up until we took him to the ER. My other son said he walked by their bedroom door on his way to the bathroom (they share a hallway) and saw his brother lying on the floor, but thought he was drunk or something so didn't mention it to anyone. This was about 2 a.m., so I guess he had been passed out for a while before daughter in law found him.

    GFG27 was still high yesterday and I caught him nodding off a couple of times, which is pathetic since the kids were back home in the afternoon. By the time daughter in law got off work, he seemed some better and managed to have dinner with us. We all went driving around to look at Christmas light and he seemed back to normal except looks terrible around the eyes. At dinner, husband said, "Be careful, son. We all love you too much."

    daughter in law had asked us yesterday if we were going to drive difficult child to the rehab center, but husband said no, he can go on his own. My mind instantly went into "let's figure this out" mode but I didn't say anything else, and husband later told me (after we had taken daughter in law to work) that difficult child is an adult and he needs to go on his own volition, and that we would drive him if he asks to go, but not if it's our idea only. I agree, of course, and husband has got the detachment thing working better than I do. I have been sharing the ideas I get from these forums with him.

    difficult child went to work as usual this morning. husband and I already discussed some boundary issues as in we're still going to make sure they move in the spring as planned, regardless of what condition difficult child is in. daughter in law says she doesn't want to rent an apartment with him if he's still getting high, but I told husband that she'll need to move in with one of her siblings or her dad if need be. Our daughter is moving back with us for the summer break and I'm not having her camping out in our living room again. husband and I also agreed that difficult child can't drive our vehicle anymore since he used it when he bought the drugs. Supposedly he parked a few blocks away and walked, but I don't think drug dealers would have too much trouble figuring that out if they wanted to. daughter in law told us that difficult child ratted out his dealer when he got arrested before, so they're probably not too happy with him in that part of town.

    I'm not really freaking out about any of this, but it's just sad and pathetic to me. I've talked to all his siblings and we're all shaking our heads at the situation. daughter in law said that he gets nervous when things are going too well for him and he self-destructs. It just seems so pointless and selfish to me. And the ironic thing is, difficult child is probably one of the nicest, most pleasant, and fun people I know. When he was milling around the house yesterday and the day before (nervously), he took out the trash three times, cleaned the kitchen, and played with his kids. When we were out looking at lights last night, he was his usual nice self with everyone. It's like he has two personalities somehow.
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't have much time right now and wil respond more later but just wanted to ask if you have Naloxone your home in case of an overdose? I'm so sorry you are going through this.
  3. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    No, I never heard of Naloxone until now. I'll check it out.
  4. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. I am proud of you and husband for sticking to your guns. Hoping he will make the choice to get help and hope this was a temporary "slip."
  5. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    I hope it was a temporary "slip" also, but feel like I can't trust him. Honestly, I haven't been able to fully trust him since he was a teenager, but had hoped that he had finally seen the light this time and stopped the drugs. I know it's not that easy to quit, but I can't understand why he takes such risks considering he has two young children, a good new job, and a pending court case. So far it's been the Elephant in the Room and nobody's really talking about what happened, but it finally hit me yesterday that he could have seriously hurt himself or even died if he hadn't been found in time. The little kids are spending the night with the other grandparents tonight, and daughter in law says she wants us all to talk about things. I guess it's a good idea, but I feel like it will be the rest of us talking sensibly, him nodding his head in agreement, and then going on to do whatever he wants. I don't know whether to be sad, angry, concerned, or what? I'm having trouble feeling anything, honestly.

    My daughter called when she found out what had happened, and wanted to know why I hadn't taken him immediately to a rehab center. I told her that I couldn't force him to go at his age, and it needed to be his decision anyway. But her question made me wonder if I'm not doing enough. You read about these heroic efforts where friends and family stage interventions that make all the difference for someone. I'm really not feeling up to a heroic effort right now, but maybe I should? My husband had surgery today (outpatient) so I've been helping him, so am a little taxed physically and emotionally.
  6. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    You've done all you can. He is an adult and must make the choice on his own to quit. We all know how selfish our difficult child's can be and how the addiction is so much more important to them than anything or anyone else. "Proof's in the Pudding" sweetie.

    Take care of you and husband. I don't know if confronting him is a good thing or not. We confronted our difficult child and things went way south and got physical. On the other hand, it was the wake up call she needed. I guess it can't hurt to try, but be cautious and if you see it's leading no where, end it. Don't put yourselves through the anguish if it's falling on deaf ears.

    Good luck tonight. Keep us updated.

  7. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Heroic efforts are great but they don't always work either. You have a grown son who needs to start taking responsibility for his actions and get himself some care. You should let him know tonight that you are willing to help him with getting information and or getting to rehab but that the decision is his to make and the work is his to do.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You CAN'T trust him. He is a heroin addict. That is potent stuff. When you suffer from the illness addiction you do not care about your kids, your mom, your job, anything when you want drugs. All you want is the drug. Some drugs are harder to kick. Heroin is up there. He will ALWAYS be at risk. I feel sorry for his kids and wish you could care for him without them being around as this is not good for them to see. It just isn't. I'm sure they know.

    in my opinion he should have to live elsewhere and give you your peace in your own house back. There was no need for this wife to get YOU to take care of his OD. Fast thinking, she should have called 911, but apparently she isn't grown up either.

    Maybe you are a better person than me. This nonsense would have stopped in my house long ago. Maybe I'm just more coldhearted. But, at the same time, I don't think it does either of those two any favors to live with a "Mommy" figure. Honestly, I can't believe she just didn't do it herself, since it was an obvious OD. Why not let you sleep? You haven't been through enough with this man? Why couldn't SHE drive him if she didn't want to call 911. These are not questions for the board. They are private questions you may want to ask yourself. I'm one who mulls things over...perhaps you are too :) I am not trying to make you feel bad. I'm just outraged that you are being forced to act like the mommy of a little boy and girl. In the end, you can not save him. He has to save himself and in my opinion growing up and having to live on his own would be one step for both of them. This is more than you should have to handle.

    I'm so sorry for all the hurt and angst you have to go through. I know you must be very tenderhearted to put up with this and I hope that someday you pick yourself over them. Hugs and hoping for the best.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Origami we all have to do what we each feel comfortable with. We did force our daughter into rehab because I just couldn't have her in the house anymore with her addiction. It was either rehab or out on the street. I'm not saying that's the right thing to do for everyone, but I do know that many/most people do not go into rehab willingly. They are forced either by family or employer or court. Heroin is such a dificult drug to quit, worse than all others. The addict needs a lot of help and for a sustained period of time through many relapses.

    Our state and in particular our county, has a heroin death epidemic. So so many young people dying every week. We have had heroin summits with law enforcement/medical people trying to find solutions. Our EMS now carry naloxone to give to suspected heroin overdoses and many lives have been saved. It is also made available to family members free of charge to keep on hand.

    We have a neighbor whose son is my difficult child's age and actually is the one who first got her into pot. He moved on to other drugs and finally heroin and has been in and out of jail many times and into court ordered rehab and residential treatment. Our drug court here is very assertive in trying to get help for addicts.

    I am so sorry for your family, this is a terrible addiction that often has a tragic ending. I hope and pray your son gets help.

    P.S. By coincidence this article was just in our newspaper:
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry to hear about this relapse.

    This all sounds right. I really can't imagine what I would do in your place. Maybe you could make him going to NA a condition of staying with you longer? I know rehab really doesn't help if they don't want it...but maybe that kind of additional support group would help him?

    I wish you hope and peace in the new year.
  11. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    It's the addiction, Origami. It's nothing more or less, and I'm sure you know already that it comes from the same place in the brain that the desire to breathe comes from. It is visceral and automatic and nothing gets in the way of it, until the person gets ongoing, long-term professional help and has some sort of spiritual awakening. I have heard the statistic that 95% percent of recovering addicts and alcoholics get clean via the 12-steps and the other 5 percent get clean some other way. He has to have treatment, meetings, a sponsor, and then he is still likely to relapse as it's part of the disease process. There will not be any guarantees.

    I'm just sorry. I can only imagine your fear and your Daughter in law's fear and everybody's fear. If he OD'd in my house, I'm sure I would have done anything and everything and would have been scared to death.

    I remember your story about allowing them to live there, and I understand that you can only do what you can live with.

    I also hear that you are very tired. And everybody here is 100 percent correct. Your love cannot save him.

    The more you can let go, and live your own life, regardless of what he decides to do or not, the better off you will be. Help him go to rehab if he is ready to go. It sounds like you are setting boundaries and that is a good thing for all.

    I'm just still profoundly sorry. It's impossible to know if this time he will get it and stop. I hope and pray he will, for your sake, your family's sake and most of all, for his kids' sake and for his own sake.

    Addiction is just so powerful.
  12. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Thanks everyone for the support, information, and advice. My husband, daughter in law and I had a long talk last night before difficult child got home from work. We didn't exactly script what we would say to him, but decided what we would focus on. In the past (a year ago when he first started using), some of these talks seemed to go south when things got too emotional or the kitchen sink was thrown in.

    I think the talk went well overall, and unless difficult child backs out (which is still a possibility), he has agreed to go to rehab tonight after he gets off work. daughter in law will pick him up and take him. He wanted to work today and to talk to his boss about getting some time off to deal with his issues. His boss apparently likes him a lot and already gave him the "keys to the business" so to speak, so hopefully difficult child will actually do this and the boss will be OK with it.

    When we were first talking last night, difficult child was visibly nervous, denied he had a problem, and said he'll just quit and there's no need for rehab. He admitted taking heroin a couple of times after the OD, however (since Saturday). I told him I know he's said he'd quit many times, and it can't be that easy to do without help or he would have already quit. daughter in law told him that he'll be unemployed, dead, or in jail if things keep going as they are. We learned that her parents had been addicts and even drug dealers while she was young, and she had some sad stories about how she and her siblings were neglected. She said she doesn't want that kind of lifestyle for her kids. By the end of the discussion, difficult child had agreed to go in this evening. husband had words of wisdom also since he had been an alcoholic for years before finally getting proper treatment for depression about 8 years ago. He told difficult child that he thinks he probably needs treatment for some underlying depression or mental issues and that we'll support him in any way with family therapy or whatever. (any way but financial, which we can't afford beyond the current room and board situation)

    I'm still learning about this terrible addiction, I still can't quite comprehend the self-destructive nature of it all or why someone can't "just quit" with sheer willpower. But then again, I've never smoked a cigarette and obviously don't have an addictive personality. I do realize that mental illness is real though and not just something to be turned off like a light switch.

    Thanks again for all the support and kind wishes. This all means a lot to me. I read and reread every answer and also to husband, who also says Thanks.
  13. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    difficult child did go to rehab the night before last. daughter in law had called around and several places didn't have beds available or had other reasons he couldn't go there, so he was transferred from one hospital to another via ambulance in the wee hours of the morning. I was impressed that he and daughter in law followed through with this despite the problems with getting admitted. He doesn't have private insurance (Medicaid only) so I think that was another issue.

    He's currently in the Behavioral Health ward at a small hospital and we don't know what kind of treatment he'll receive yet. I think because of New Year's yesterday, they didn't have full staffing. I went with daughter in law to visit him yesterday afternoon. He looked better (not high, anyway) and said he had seen one doctor and was given some kind of medication. daughter in law will visit him tonight and we hope to know more by then.

    The last day he worked, he talked to his boss about needing some time off, and even told him the reason. daughter in law told me that difficult child decided to just be honest about things. His boss was understanding and told him he had dealt with some similar issues at his age, and to do what he needed to get better. That's a relief, since one of difficult children big concerns was losing his job. Not enough to prevent him from taking heroin in the first place, but whatever.

    And MWM, I know you've said many times that we usually don't know the extent of our difficult children drug use. You were 100 percent right, as we found out that he had used more than he first admitted to on the night of the OD, and also used a couple of times afterward. He had spent all of his Christmas bonus from work on drugs.

    We're hopeful now, and at least it's a step in the right direction.
  14. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    I just saw this. I am so sorry he relapsed again Orgami. I thought he was doing really well. I must say, I am surprised as well. Again, so sorry.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oragami, I am not a special person. I have LDs. I barely graduated high school. I have to keep a handle on my mental illness. But my kids and others have told me many times I have an amazing ability to logically figure out how somebody will behave or why. My kids think I'm magical that Even my difficult child. Also, I tend to be so logical that I CAN'T delude myself. I go strictly by actions, not words.

    I had no doubt your son was using drugs still. I think many difficult children are using drugs here, even though their parents don't know it yet or the extent of it. Of course, when it came to my own daughter, I stayed in willful denial just like other I knew...but I wouldn't let what I knew stick in my mind. I'm much better at figuring out what is going on with others and have been told that all of my life. People here have called me blunt. I don't know any other way to be. I see what I see. Doesn't mean I'm never wrong, of course. I just tend not to be good at sugarcoating stuff, even when I try. I don't mean to sound harsh either, but I know sometimes I probably do. I calls it as I sees it.

    That is one reason, I'm sure, why my family of origin would get so mad at me. I was often so dead right on.

    Like I said, my flaws are MANY, but I'm very good at figuring things out in a logical way, especially if it is not my own family member, of course.

    I am so very sorry, that you had to find this out about your son. Heroin is very hard to kick. I'd take one day at a time, one moment at a time, one second at a time and enjoy every day he is sober, but don't get your hopes up too high or you may be in for another disappointment.

    Honestly, I did not believe for over a year that my daughter would remain sober. My "cynical" was on high alert. I didn't want to fall hard so I went to Al-Anon and made it work for me. Even all these years later, I still worry that something will cause her to start using drugs again. Please either go to the wonderful organization (my opinion) of Al-Anon or at least get private therapy to help you cope and keep your stress level down.

    A mother's mental work is never really done, but we can try to live in the moment and make our lives as good as possible even while our kids struggle. Right now your son is in good hands and is safe. You can relax. I'm glad you have some "down" time.

    Big hugs.
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Origami they told us in rehab that parents are very often surprised when they find out the extent of their difficult child's drug use. He is where he needs to be right now and that's good.
  17. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    A brief update. He's out of the hospital now and is taking Zoloft and another medication (don't remember the name). They set him up with a social worker and psychologist and he has appointments starting in a couple of weeks. We visited him every day in the hospital and welcomed him home. He went back to work today for the first time and said his boss was really happy he was back, had some new projects for him, etc. We're keeping our fingers crossed that his on his way to recovery and that the antidepressants might do the trick. They made all the difference with my husband, who became a different person when he finally got help for his depression.

    The guarded optimism means that I'll tell him we have a zero tolerance policy and he'll have to leave if he starts up with the heroin again. They're planning to move anyway in March, so we'll see what happens.