Any thoughts on dual diagnosis and prescribing medications to difficult child's?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by wantpeace, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. wantpeace

    wantpeace New Member

    I know many of your difficult child's have mental health issues in addition to their addictions. My difficult child's phychological report stated that he likely has social anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), PTSD, depression, and possibly ADHD. They recommended that he see a dual diagnosis psychologist when he gets out of inpatient. It would be so wonderful if his addiction issues would disappear if the mental health issues were treated, but I don't feel too optimistic about that. It also worries me that many of the medications for these issues are addictive and even dangerous when mixed with alcohol and other substances. Did any of you see an improvement when your difficult child's took medications for mental health issues? What are your thoughts?

  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    My feeling is that many of our difficult children start using substances as a way to deal with mental health issues.... BUT then the substance abuse issue becomes and issue as well. So they still have to deal with SA as well as the mental health issue. Dealing with both is important but difficult..... My son seems to feel that if he deals with his mental health issues his SA issues will go away and I think this is folly.

    As far as medications.....addicts need to be careful of what medications they use and they need to avoid medications that are addictive or used on the street. So for example avoid adderall for ADHD, avoid any benzos (a lot of which are used for anxiety).... but most antidepressants are not addictive, there are some ADHD medications that are not addictive and some non addictive things than can help anxiety. Hopefully a psychiatric doctor used to dual diagnosis will be careful on this front.

  3. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I hate to be a downer, but I wish someone would have been more truthful with me when I though a few medications would end this grief. I personally think that when they have MH issues their recovery is even harder. I think many will agree. And yes you should worry about medication with illegal drug use. when difficult child said she didn't want to take her antideppressant anymore, I knew she was headed down the pot lane again. I have not forced the issue as I don't see any real benefit to the Celexa (or the others we have tried) and because of interactions.

    At firt Residential Treatment Center (RTC)-the psychiatric told me it was more difficult to get kids with complex mental health issues off drugs because they feel so lousy most of the time and even medications. are hard to get right. For my difficult child-pot takes the edge off-she freely talks about it. She thinks it is better than using an RX drug every day. She says I just use once in awhile when things are rough or I can't get my head to stop. I hate it.

    I have to tell you-even though we have not had hard drug issues-the fact that she uses pot is tough and it is illegal. I worry all the time about how she is paying for it, if she will be arrested, etc.....

    I would not count on things going away when his mental health issues are being addressed. Most likely it will be a life time of management and he will need maturity and desire to be well. It has been 3 years here and it is steps forward and back. We have had major and intense intervetion (2 RTCs, EMDR, DBT, Cognitive Behavioral, etc. etc.!).
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child has mental health issues and addiction issues. She has been on medications for years and it didn't stop the substance abuse. In fact, she used the medications to get high and made money by selling them so she could buy alcohol.

    She was allowed to take Celexa (anti-depressant) in rehab and the psychiatrist added lamictal when she went to the halfway house. She had been taking Adderall but is not taking that any more. I don't think she ever really needed it. I was furious to learn that the psychiatrist was still prescribing her Xanax even knowing that she was had been in rehab and was currently living in a halfway house. According to her he told her that the "gain was sometimes worth the risk." She says that she is not taking Xanax right now and has been passing the drug tests so I hope that she is telling the truth.

    Nancy posted a great list of drugs broken into Class A, B and C that tells addicts what drugs to never take (C), sometimes under a doctor's orders (B), and C (okay for addicts). I'll look and see it I can find it for you.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  5. wantpeace

    wantpeace New Member

    That is exactly what I fear/know would happen with my difficult child. I know he's taken Xanax, so I would never want the prescribed for him. He's also abused Adderall, so that's out. He's actually anxious to get his wisdom teeth out & that's a major red flag that he wants to get his hands on the pain medications! I still don't know what came first, the addiction or the mental health issues. It doesn't matter at this point I guess. I found out yesterday that his "best" friend who is a major druggy and who difficult child trusts more than anyone is now dating my difficult child's ex-girlfriend (who recently broke his heart). This is going to really do a number on him when he gets out of treatment and finds that out. It may be a blessing since it will prove that these drug addicts are not real friends. Meanwhile, it's going to be a beautiful day here, so I plan to spend the day outiside and will treat myself to a long run!
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  7. wantpeace

    wantpeace New Member

    That helps a lot, Kathy. Thank you!
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    difficult child#1 has taken ADHD stims since he was five or six. He continued taking them until he dropped out of high school and I cut the medication supply off...BUT after his brain surgery he was all confused and way off target at the rehab hospital. I didn't see an end in sight and finally insisted that an adolescent psychiatrist be called in for a consultation. Lucked out and got a good one. He put difficult child back on stims and within two days he could communicate normally, take independent showers, go to the bathroom on his own and began PT. It was like a miracle...truly. For my difficult child the stims were not associated with addiction. He just needed the stimulant to function. Once recovered since he was no longer going to school etc. we stopped the Concerta. DDD
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think a lot depends on the person and what the medication does. The situation also can complicate things. This medication list is awesome, is there a way to put it into a thread of it's own in the sub abuse archives? Maybe under the title "medications classified by addiction risk"?

    I do think that many addicts need dual diagnosis help, and that without the MH help they won't be capable of maintaining sobriety. AA and 12 Steps can't cure everything, but many if not most of the addicts I have met in recovery flatly refuse ANY non-12 Step help and all medications for mental illness. It really handicaps them.
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Done. Great idea, Susie.