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Message Board > Families / Partners of Addicts > How Do You Know For Sure They Off Drugs

Posted by: SabanR December 4, 2018, 1:31 PM
Hi there
My older brother has been on heroine for over 16years
He just got back from a spiritual journey after 3 weeks and after returning Im not sure if he is somehow back on it.
I have no idea what to think, sometimes he is very emotional, and talkative and awake till late at night. His eyes still seems like his sometimes using. But i am really not sure at this point.
His currently staying at my place since he came back from him travels.
Can someone please advise on the withdrawal effects and the behaviour of a recovering addict.
Thanx a mil

Posted by: Sad mamma December 4, 2018, 5:31 PM
Hi Saban I don't know to much about herion but what I have read and learnt is that there emotions would be up and down, been using for 16 years it's going to take a while for normality to return, but like I say I don't know to much about herion, there's a few things I have learnt about my sons recovery is " if you think there's a problem there generally is" sorry there really not words of comfort for you , hope people post and try and help, who are former herion addicts, it's very hard living with an addict, we are always quick to judge, and suspect what they have been doing, let's hope he learnt a lot from his spiritual journey and works at his recovery stay strong

Posted by: Sallyanna December 4, 2018, 9:34 PM
Hi Saban,
My daughter has a heroin addiction. When she is using she seems normal because she's so addicted physically she uses to prevent from 'getting sick' which is going into withdrawl. While using i do notice the really small pupils, drug paraphernalia in her apartment, spoons bent and burned, needles, a belt she used as a tournaquet (sp?), And she has track marks and skin abcesses. Right after she uses she will nod off for about an seems her whole life revolved around getting her next fix about every 4-6 hrs to prevent getting sick (withdrawl).....

The withdrawal symptoms from heroin are really really bad and uncomfortable and very painful. She'd have restless legs, sweats, couldn't sleep it is really horrible and so she now goes to detox centers when she decides to withdrawal. They are medically supervised for safety and they keep them comfortable it's still tough tho and can take many days usually for my daughter 6-10.

I hope this helps. It's just what I know from my own experience and observation. You may want to just ask him he may tell you but IDK..Wishing you and your brother the best. I hope he is doing okay and you too!

Posted by: Parenting2 December 4, 2018, 9:36 PM
Yes, pinpoint pupils are a giveaway. I hope he is not using. Please take care of yourself and keep posting updates. We are here for you.

Posted by: NyToFlorida December 4, 2018, 11:17 PM
my son detoxed and spent 2-3 wks at a local hospital rehab in may. Jun, Jul, Aug - he was not using at all, but mentally, emotionally not stable at first. not bad, but not as 'normal' as we would expect. thinking kind of slow. he saw therapist and dr's and was prescribed a medication for bipolar, persistant thoughts. he dwells on thoughts and it keeps him awake. the med is not a sleeping med. it calms the thoughts so he can fall asleep. by the end of 3 months his personality was getting more solid and 'normal' but he started relapsing w alcohol. thinking he can have a few beers once in a while. it snowballed into 2 months of a relapse.

he lost one job. after a few weeks got another. he was a mess when he started the job, dryed out , was much better for the past two weeks while working, limited cash, going to gym, home early. then got 1st paycheck and he has been a wreck again. probably is out of cash already.....

conclusion. it takes a while for the brain to stabilize and start working correctly - more than 3 months - with help of meetings, finding new friends, therapist, medical check ups and possibly needing medication temporarily,

The thing that tell us our son is using is the fast spending and complete lack of money. he stays out very late. wallet always empty, uses up the gas cans, does not have cigs. this is days after getting a paycheck. talks slowly like confused or isn't thinking fast enough to keep a conversation. misunderstands conversation and seems pre-occupied. (he was kind of like this after rehab - but not alarming and not spending - it slowly got better but not best - still needed more time) he also becomes a little irritated, grumpy, self centered, sarcastic. - maybe that is the withdrawal days. yea that would explain 'mood swings'.

. when he was sober for several months he always had a few dollars or more. I would give him 20 every day or every other for gas, cigs. he did not work for 2 months bc of time going to appointments and IOP. he was going to gym, playing golf, meetings, IOP, appointments, etc he did need to keep busy. did not like to be bored.

I thought this time was gong to be different. each time he has a 'dry spell' I think - surely he has learned a lesson. feeling normal has to be better than recovering from a binge.

hope this helps!

Posted by: NyToFlorida December 4, 2018, 11:35 PM
try to get your brother to participate with chores and activities. see if there are other short or long term retreat options locally, that he can be active in and give you a break. keep your guard up a bit. be sure you put up boundaries - before you are taken advantage of.

ask him to get a part time job and contribute to food or rent.

let us know how things unfold.

Posted by: SabanR December 5, 2018, 6:32 AM
Hi All.

Thank you so much for the amazing support. The responses are overwhelming, i didn't expect it to happen as quick. ❤

My brother decided to stay at my place today as well. We live on a farm and u need a vehicle to get around (and there are currently no vehicles at home). So he just wanted to be at home with all the animals today.

Hope this keeps him busy.

Thanx again everyone

Posted by: NyToFlorida December 5, 2018, 8:50 PM
since you live on a farm and little access to transportation, pushing him to get a job might not be practical - and can be too stressful. Staying on the farm with no access to drugs is more beneficial. the farm environment might be just what he needs. don't be shy about sharing chores. even if he balks at first - it will do him good - emotionally and physically. he will feel like he is contributing.

even though my son has relapsed, I feel that he has benefited from the sober time. maybe we will see more chunks of sober time.

As long as you are not putting more effort into his sobriety than he is, do what you genuinely want to do for him. if he pushes your boundaries, push back. as a parent I have had a hard time pushing back. I didn't want my already depressed son to be sad. I didn't want to be mean. It is not in my nature. BUT I found that when I did push my boundaries back into place - or ask my son to do something - or have that conversation I didn't want to have, things turned out better than I thought. and small improvements were made.

Posted by: Sallyanna December 6, 2018, 7:00 AM
Saban just keep in mind it's not your job (unless you want to) to manage your brother's life. It's A LOT of responsibility living with a person with an addiction and it's insideous how it will impact your life. It's totally a personal choice however. In my opinion he needs to have a independent plan for his life if he is able to. It's what is best for him and for you.

Posted by: Alexendra Berehnova August 30, 2019, 7:22 AM
Hey ! I don't know much about drugs, But if your loved ones facing this problem then don’t go for any shortcut to resolve this problem. He simply needs your support, faith that helps to build strong will power within. Also pay attention towards their behaviour and take experts help if found necessary.