Seeking Advice From Those In Recovery
Posted: August 9, 2017, 12:57 AM

Posts: 1
Joined: August 9, 2017

I'll try to keep this as short as possible. We've suspected my 23 year old brother has a drug problem of some sort kind. He's broke and has taken money from my parents here and there recently. This despite the fact that he has a decent job with virtually no bills. I received a call from a family friend confirming my suspicions. He's addicted to percocet. My mom, dad, sister and I meet up and go to his friends and put him in the car and leave. We weren't even out of the driveway yet before he admitted there was a problem. We lost my other brother to a heroin addiction that we totally missed and we aren't going to be that naive again. He actually told me that's why he's never tried it. He said he's been taking the pills for about 2 years. Taking 2-3 a day at this point. This all happened a week ago. Since then he's agreed to see a psychiatrist twice a month and is being prescribed suboxone. He is also being drug tested at these appointments and has attended one already. Additionally, he's doing out patient treatment twice a week and he's been to one of these as well. Here are my questions:
- How can I be the best support system? He is very motivated right now but I'm worried he's taking on too much. He only wants to take the suboxone 2 weeks instead of the recommended 6 months. I want to keep his positivity going but I'd hate it if he was setting himself up to fail.
- What are some signs I should looks for if he's struggling?
- We had hoped in patient treatment would be his choice, but the assessment said he'd be a good candidate for out patient. He loves his job so we all said we'd support him doing that so he can keep it. But if he relapses even once he agreed to do a residential treatment facility. Do you think he can be successful meeting only twice a week with a counselor and then the twice a month with a psychiatrist?
- Just any general advice you can give. It's hard to trust while staying alert, show compassion yet stay firm, positive and realistic all at the same time. I feel like he's a child bc he's 9 years younger than me but I know he's not. I just want to make sure what I do and say only promotes his recovery. Thank you!
Posted: August 9, 2017, 12:31 PM

Posts: 6298
Joined: May 27, 2005

The longer he is on suboxone the worse his withdrawals will be. He's correct on wanting off as soon as possible.

His best bet for staying clean, in my opinion, is a 12 step program. AA or NA, he has to find which he prefers on his own. It's the only thing that worked for me. I could quit pills no problem, but I couldn't stay clean for long until I learned from other 12 steppers how to live without a buzz.

He's going to have to find his own recovery method. No one can do it for him. Support but don't carry. I hope he makes it.


१२ स्तैप्पैर!

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you;
that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
Mark Twain

Just because the monkey's off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town

Laugh because it shows people that you have what they want and what they need: a hope in things unseen, a peace that passes understanding, and a God of miracles who also has a great sense of humor.

Posted: August 17, 2017, 3:38 AM

Posts: 243
Joined: August 18, 2016

First, I am so sorry to hear that you lost your brother. I have no words to ease the hurt you must be going through, but please know that you are in my thoughts.

I am concerned that maybe your brother isn't telling you the whole story or perhaps he is going to a less than qualified doctor. Putting someone on Suboxone for taking 2-3 percocet a day is like killing an ant with an atom bomb...overkill. My suspicion is that he is telling you this amount to appear like he isn't in too deep. Perhaps he told the doctor the real amount and it is this amount that led the doctor to dispense Suboxone. That said, Suboxone can be a wonderful tool in the recovery toolbox if used as part of a comprehensive recovery plan that includes individual counseling, treatment of underlying depression, aniety or other mental illness, support of some sort of recovery community etc.

I also wanted to add that 12 step meetings could also be helpful. I, however, did not find them to be a positive part of my recovery plan. I went for years with it just not clicking for me and was told it was because I wasn't doing it right. However, it was just not appropriate for me. I found SMART recovery to be much more useful. There are also religious groups and other secular groups.

In no way am I telling you to tell your brother not to go to a 12 step program! He needs to do what works for him. I just like to let people know that good alternatives exist. As people are different, so are our paths to recovery.

As for him wanting to get off quickly, if he trusts his doctor then it might behoove him to follow the doctors orders. They usually recommend a timespan that they have found to be the most helpful. Getting off the drugs is but a tiny step in a long journey. Substance abuse has very little to do with the substance we ingest and everything to do with how we think, feel and react to the world around us. Putting down the substance is like step A..recovery doesn't even begin to happen until farther down the alphabet! (like probably q or so!)

I wish you brother good luck in his journey and I wish your family healing in the face of such a great loss!
Posted: August 29, 2017, 8:21 PM

Posts: 5
Joined: July 3, 2017

Hi there,

I agree with Lolleedee. With the amount he is claiming to use and the fact they put him on Sub's for that small of a dose. I used to use and I do understand how hard it must be on you guys and realize what I put my family through in the process of my using. I work for an inpatient rehab and usually the clients who come in here are embarrassed and lie to their family's constantly about the amount/quantity and all drugs they are using. Usually they would prefer you to take the sub’s less time because the withdrawals from being on them for months are worse and I have witnessed a lot of clients that do unfortunately mix the subs and pills together. So the pills can get them high (oxys, percs, hydro…etc or Heroin) and the subs for the withdrawals or to sell the Subs. So less time if he is able to do it would be better if he wants to do it that way. If he is struggling he will show (usually not always everyone is different) signs of anxiety, agitation, he will experience at times irritability and his moods will be up and down. He will start justifying behaviors slowly and that’s not a good sin at all. The main issue you guys might have is the lying. Usually the addict has a problem because we are very good at manipulation and lying that he will pretend things are fine. We are also very good at figuring out who the enabler is and who to come after when the cravings get the better of us.
I think the success of this is all up to him and as well the support of you guy’s as well. He needs to make sure that the support system he has is stern and you guys are on the same page otherwise he will continue to keep using. If the meeting the therapist 2wice a week doesn’t work for him or going to meetings because all of that didn’t work for me. He needs to do what works for him but if that isn’t working and he keeps messing up and he is relying on you guys financially you guys need to put your foot down and He needs to do some type of inpatient facility. He needs to go somewhere he is able to acquire some life skills to deal with past issues and to be able to confront things that still weight him down. I think if you guys sit down as a family and discuss this what you guys will and won’t tolerate anymore this will help him greatly if he struggles. But him only doing therapy 2wice a week leaves a lot of idle time for him not to deal with his issues.
Hope you guys figure out and it works out for you guys
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