Another question about Vicodin ...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by donna723, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    This really isn't my own problem, I guess I just want to know if this sounds right since I'm not very knowlegeable about these things. I hope this doesn't get too long and that it makes sense.

    I have a beautiful 24 year old niece, my brother's daughter, who seems to be throwing her whole life away, and it's not just her own life anymore. This girl could have had any guy she wanted, but instead she settled in with one who is the absolute pits! We'll call him "Bozo". He's an abusive bully, drinks too much, does drugs, starts fights, only works when he feels like it ... you get the picture. They broke up, got back together, broke up again. When she was living at home she did well, had a decent job, bought a nice car. When "Bozo" heard she had a new car, he decided he wanted her back and she went! When she was with him she lost weight, had migraines, was a general wreck, both physically and emotionally.

    She also had very severe endometriosis and made many trips to the ER with unbearable pain and heavy bleeding. She was given Vicodin (or so she says) for the pain. Her gyn told her that if she intended to have children she shouldn't wait because she could be looking at a hysterectomy at a very young age. Within a month she was back with Bozo and they were married, another month or two and she was pregnant. She now has a bright, happy, gorgeous little boy, almost two. A week after he was born (by c-section) Bozo wanted to go bar hopping and wanted her to go with him, so she left the baby with her parents and she went, even though she had just had a baby and had an infection! Since then, he has spent every weekend with my brother and his wife, and the "weekends" grew to four or five days a week. Bozo cannot party with the baby around and the niece puts him first - always - so the baby stays with the grandparents, who are really the only stability he has! Bozo and the niece's life is chaotic, neither one is working now, bill collectors after them, rent is unpaid, house full of his loser friends constantly. And in two years Bozo has not contributed one single dime towards his son's support. My brother and sister in law buy his food, clothing, diapers and toys and they pay his medical bills. They do it not to help their daughter, but to make sure the baby has the things that he needs. They adore this baby and are devoted to him but they didn't intend to have to start all over raising a second family at their age!

    OK, now the clincher! Apparently the niece has become dependent on the medication she has been taking. She's tells her parents that it's Vicodin, but they really only know what she's told them. She's gone to a local doctor (one that doesn't know his hiney from a hole in the ground!) and he put her on "something else" to get her off the Vicodin. She told her parents that the recommended drug for what she was taking was methadone but she didn't want to take that - could that possibly be right?? I don't know a lot about it but I always thought methadone was only used for heroin addiction. So now here's the REAL clincher! Whatever this is that she's taking, the doctor told her that she shouldn't even think about becoming pregnant again while she was on it! Stupid doctor to assume that she was responsible enough to follow directions! So, guess what! She kinda "forgot" to take her birth control pills and now she's pregnant again! My brother (he's 58) will end up raising and supporting another grandchild! They are worried about their daughter's medical condition and having another pregnancy - she's fairly tall and weighs 98 pounds now! But most of all they're worried sick that there will be real problems with this new baby, considering all the medications she's been on (and abused) and the fact that she was told NOT to get pregnant while she was on it!

    Does anybody know if this sounds right, or if it could be total B.S. that she's telling her parents? Would methadone be prescribed to get someone off of Vicodin? And if they didn't want to take methadone, would something else be given instead? And if there's a standard "something else", how dangerous is it really for the baby she's carrying? Honestly, when I look at my beautiful little two year old great nephew, I just want to cry thinking that his little brother or sister could be getting the short end of the stick!

    If you've made it this far, you deserve a medal! I didn't do very well at keeping it brief, but if anyone knows anything about all this, I'd appreciate being clued in.
  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Well, I am not really sure, but it actually sounds right. Methadone is a pain reliever, and is also given to heroin addicts - I am not really sure how giving that instead of a pain medication becomes less addictive - but I know it is within certain protocols.

    Methadone is one of the medication Anna Nichole Smith had in her system when she died. It can be just as dangerous as any other pain medication.

    As far as birth defects, again not sure. At this point, it sounds more like miscarriage would be the primary concern, given her weight and dependence and nutrition issues.

    Have you talked to a social worker or called CPS? I think they can intervene now, and put the mom in rehab, if they know the baby is in danger. I know babies are taken at birth from moms because of drug addiction, and that before that there are mandates the mother has to adhere to if there is a known drug addiction.

    So sorry.
  3. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Vicodin is part hydrocodone and part acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a synthetic opiate derived from two real opiates. Would a doctor prescribe methodone to treat Vicodin addiction? Who knows what some doctors will do but it sounds like overkill to me. Ninety-eight pounds? I think it would take a heck of a lot of Vicodin to give that heroin chic look and by that time the acetaminophen would be causing liver problems.

    How about bupreorphine? It's for heroin and opiate addiction.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Well, supposedly she didn't want to take the methadone and was given "something else" instead, just not sure what that "something else" is. It sounds to me like swapping one addiction for another. But whatever it was, she was specifically told NOT to get pregnant while on it and she did! She's always been very slim but 98 pounds is pushing it, even for her.

    My brother and sister in law have seriously considered trying to get custody of the two year old - he's there most of the time anyway and they've supported him since he was born. The only thing stopping them is the "system" here. Grandparents have very few legal rights. If they went to court to get custody, they would have no problem getting it, considering the circumstances. But the way they do it here is that even if a relative (grandparents) want the child, CPS takes custody first. The child would go in to foster care for at least a few months while they investigate the family and do home studies, and then after all that B.S., they could finally have the child come to live with them legally. That means this little guy would be taken away from everyone and everything he knows (even them!) and be living with total strangers for several months. Right now they're the only stability he has. He's with them most of the time now as it is and they can keep a pretty close eye on things, and they just can't bear the thought of him being taken off with total strangers and living in foster care, possibly for several months! So they will go for legal custody only as a last resort.
  5. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Swapping one addiction for another is exactly what's involved in taking both methodone and buprenorphine. None of the stuff is good for the fetus and the babies born to women taking those drugs will be born addicted.
  6. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    SO was prescribed Methadone to get off of Morphine (Oxycontin) - so its just not for heroin users, but what other drugs it can replace I have not got a clue.

  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    A doctor will often prescribe methadone as pain relief instead of vicodin. It is much less addictive, physically, than vicodin. My doctor prescribed it for my pain but I elected to not take it. I don't know that they would prescribe it to get you off of vicodin, but as a replacement safer pain medication, yes. It's more difficult to overdose on methadone than on vicodin, if I'm remembering correctly.

    It's sad that she is so out of control and involving innocent children in her selfish behavior. Perhaps her OB/GYN will talk her into getting her tubes tied when she gives birth to save her from the dangers of future pregnancies.

    Vicodin makes me sick to my stomach if I don't eat, so I eat better on vicodin than when I am not taking it. It might be making her nauseous.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know people who have been put on methadone for opiate addictions before. I also know a person who was on methadone for pain control...not for addiction issues...while she was pregnant and the child was just fine. Yes there were a few raised eyes in the nursery when the blood work came back and a few wanted to call CPS claiming child abuse by taking drugs but when this womans doctor stepped in saying that she was a patient with a chronic pain condition under the care of a pain management doctor that all stopped.

    I dont know what I would do personally if I could become pregnant in my case today with all my issues. I dont know if I would be able to stop all my medications or if stopping them would be the best thing for me and the baby or not. I know I would really worry.
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I don't buy the whole vicodin for endometriosis and have to have a child now story.

    Endometriosis can be treated. The only way to cure it, is hysterectomy, but that is never, to my knowledge, the first option. There is a procedure called a lapraoscopy (sp?) to remove the endometrial growth or lesions or whatever they're called. (I've had that.) There are also drug treatments, such as lupron which is medically induced menopause for up to 6 months, birth control taken so as to not have periods and progestin (which I take) taken so as to not have periods. I've already had the one procedure - which was a breeze - and the endometriosis came back. As I was done having children and another lapraoscopy would just mean more scar tissue, a hysterectomy was advised. At her young age, though, I can't see that it would be. I asked for a hysterectomy at the age of 29 because I was done having kids and I had already been treated for the endometriosis and my GYN at the time refused. My current GYN said it was irresponsible because at that time, I could have had it done vaginally which leads to a much quicker recovery. At this point, because my pelvis is fixed from it, I would have to have it done the old fashioned way. I declined and I take progestin which keeps it completely under control.

    So, all that to say that I don't buy her original story. I think she was more than likely drug seeking at the time.

    I don't know about the methadone other than it is a pain medication and it is used for opiate addicts.

    How sad for the kids.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm with you, Heather. Mind you, the first doctor may have been an idiot, he may have prescribed vicodin for endometriosis.

    My bet is, Bozo either got her onto drugs or got her to get the vicodin so she could supply him with prescription drugs.

    For vicodin to have done this much to her, she would surely have raised alarm bells with the prescribing doctor... unless there were more than one prescribing doctor and a lot of other drug use was also going on.

    I was not taking morphine when I was pregnant with difficult child 3. I had been, however, taking a codeine/paracetamol mix with fairly high codeine levels. However, I cut my amount down and finally cut it out entirely, for the last three months of pregnancy. So I can't tell you of any problems with difficult child 3 and possible addiction at birth. He wasn't.

    Another point - a big part of the reason I take morphine now (with paracetamol to potentiate the pain killing benefit of it) rather than other pain killers, is this is the medication regime that is kindest to my body. For addicts, opiates are not what does the damage. What REALLY messes up their bodies is not the opiate (heroin, morphine, vicodin, methadone - whatever) but the other rubbish they often take with it, if it's illicit, dirty, contaminated, infected, cut with various poisons etc. I actually have to be very careful of the paracetamol I take, because of the risk of liver damage. The morphine is very kind to my body.

    An addict who is only taking prescription medication, taking it as prescribed, shouldn't be so sick.

    So the niece has either been lying all along and the first doctor may have given her vicodin or she may have just SAID he did, or she could have told the truth initially (with an idiot doctor) and ten found herself with a desperate desire for more )especially if Bozo was taking her medications as well).

    If the US is similar to Australia when it comes to supply of opiate medications legitimately, they will be doled out almost by the day. I can only get a month's supply at a time, and I can't go back to my doctor in under three weeks. I get 30 pills per prescription, no repeats. And no other doctor can regularly prescribe this medication, I have to go to a doctor I nominate, and this doctor has to apply to the government for permission to prescribe this to me, every time they write a prescription. Part of the doctor's permission is my records as a patient of a pain specialist.

    I doubt niece is doing all this. Especially if her legitimate pills were disappearing faster than she could acquire them, she would have had to go underground for more fairly quickly. I suspect she would have quickly found that heroin is far more effective for pain, than vicodin.

    The baby - yes, likely to be born addicted. But long-term damage to internal organs - not from the drugs themselves. But it is possible that niece's body IS being damaged, by the other rubbish her drugs are being cut with.

    I do think the grandparents need to make enquiries about how to apply for custody. This girl could come back at any time and take her child LEGALLY and the grandparents couldn't stop her. Surely a lawyer could advise them on other ways to get around the system?