Aged 17, Marcia lay in a hospital bed, in her second day of heroin detox, drugged, but clearly in pain, her parents standing helplessly by, wondering why this had happened to them, wishing that they could get the detox done with, get their daughter into recovery.
They’d wanted rapid detox, an induced coma with injections of opioid blockers and out in 24 hours – no pain, no suffering had seemed like the ideal thing. But the doctor had rejected any kind of rapid detox – people with intense withdrawal symptoms sometimes die in rapid detox, it is a specialist field said the doctor, that many do not agree with.
So what are our options when Marcia recovers asked the haggard parents, only together after a recent, bitter divorce because of the state that their child was in.
Well, so far shes been on clonidine, with a cocktail of promethazine, ioperamide and methocarbamol, but now is on a combination drug of buprenorphine and nalaxone that will get her through to discharge.
You then need to find a maintenance program. People often go with methadone as a long term maintenance treatment when they have had a heavy habit like your daughter.
Best get her onto a methadone program, the big problem from now on is relapse – going back and hitting up on the heroin doses she’s been taking can of course be fatal. I’m not sure that the drugs she’s on now would be strong enough to hold her back from relapse and using again.
Yes, methadone’s addictive, some say harder that heroin to give up. But, most people are happy enough to stay with the methadone program, don’t ever try to detox – hm, liquid handcuffs they call it.
Once on methadone, heroin addicts might want to join up with a narcotics self help group that offers long term support, post acute heroin withdrawal symptoms can go on for years.
Most people need help to deal with ongoing cravings, you can use CBT for that. In your daughter’s case the history suggests some testing for mental disorder. It might be that she will need some long term antidepressants, if not antipsychotics, a psychiatrist can give you better advice.
Yes, the future looks good for your daughter – it’s only a matter of time and we will have everything under control.
Marcia’s parents were happy that the doctor had been so informative and explicit. They both felt like a massive burden had been lifted from their shoulders.
Marcie was a different case, said he had used heroin as a powerball with cocaine, had committed an assault for which he would be charged, although he couldn’t remember anything about it.
He wanted a hospital discharge to get back on the street. Someone owed him money, he needed to go out, and get it.
A visitor, shock, amazement – his father – WTF. Saying, son I need to talk, I sure think it’s overdue – wish I could have found you sooner – I’ve got good news for you.
Look at me, and what do you see – same old deadbeat Dad – who used to give you a belting, if you didn’t get out of the way. Well, it’s not the same anymore - I’ve not used alcohol or drugs in over 2 years - don’t ever want to go back there. I want to say sorry, for what I did but most of all I want to get you in to where I’ve been – get you off drugs competely.
Hope and fear filled Marcie’s mind – not another stunt to try and wheedle some money – was this genuine. The way he felt right now, anything looked good. His father sure looked well, relaxed, not mean and desperate, no cunning glint in his eye. Marcie took a chance – you got something to say – I’ll listen.
Marcie heard about comprehensive detox that uses low heat sauna ***to gently relax the mind and body, removing all alcohol, drugs and toxic residues, completely from the body.
There was also the Cal-Mag cocktail *** mainly calcium and magnesium, that helps the body to self regulate and does away with physical cravings – and the rehab course *** that you study to overcome emotional issues, improve understanding of what you need to really get on in life.
Marcie was keen - put that up to the judge, he said, should get me a suspended sentence. I will, said his Dad with a wink, if you promise me you’ll go in there.
The judge was interested, and polite – turned to Marcie and said – indeed, it sounds like the way to happiness – I’ll give you a suspended sentence and I don’t want to see you back.
Eight months later and Marcie is clean, his Dad at the graduation is proud of his son, and what they both have done.
Arm in arm they walk from the room, and Dad says to Marcie – guess what, I’ ve got you an apprenticeship lined up – that’s if you are interested.
Harry is an old mate of mine – and he is more than happy to take you on board - a chip off the old block.