Addiction to Drugs/methadose

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Question
My father has post polio syndrome and his disease has progressed ten fold in ten years. He has been going to a pain management clinic for 15 years without any problems. Never a failed drug test. Nothing at all negative. He takes his meds as prescribed.  The problem arose when the Dr he was seeing for the last 15 years suddenly lost his licensed to prescribe narcotics.  My father had no idea this doctor was having any problems legal or otherwise. Now my father is left without a doctor and the few remaining pain doctors in the 100 mile radius are full due to taking on the patients of this doctor who was obviously doing illegal things.  My father is on his 2nd day without methadose, hydrocodone and Valium. He has high blood pressure, he is in his 60's. He is vomiting and he refuses to go to the hospital due to the shame associated due to being considered "addicted".  He is a church going man with TONS of pain.  What are we to do? I truly fear he is going to die.  He is throwing up, having diarrhea, his behavior is oddly mean and rude. He lays in the bed at all times he is not throwing up. How can I save my Dad's life?  I know if he went to the E.R he would get like a weeks worth but my father would rather just die than only get a weeks worth. I'm also afraid of suicide because the withdrwawels along with pain are so bad.  He has medicare and BCBS as a supplement.  His regular PCP can't prescribe this medication.  I'm at a loss.  Any help appreciated.  Thanks very much.

Answer
Hi Tim ,
Your Dad sounds like he is definitely in withdrawal and needs medical attention. I understand the shame he feels, however his body is dependent upon these drugs to function properly. Withdrawal from valium can cause seizures and given his health concerns and age, withdrawal syndrome from any substances can be very dangerous for him.
If he refuses to go to the hospital you may just need to call an ambulance. I understand that his PCP can not prescribe his methadone, however he may be able to help you with a referral to another treatment provider.
I wish you the best during this difficult time.
Sherrie

Addiction to Drugs

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Sherrie Sweet

Expertise

I am qualified to answer questions in all areas of addiction and recovery. If you have a question that I can not answer, I am not afraid to tell you that I do not know, however, I am willing to help you find the answer. I am qualified to assist you with questions asked by the individual who is using drugs or alcohol, as well as questions from concerned friends and family members. I understand the stigmas of this disease and the difficult issues that arise from substance use. I am here to offer guidance and support.

Experience

I have worked in the field of substance abuse for 20 years. I have experience working in the areas of inpatient detoxification, outpatient counseling, halfway houses, self help groups, individual, marital and family counseling, drunken driving education, pregnant and parenting programs, and medication assisted treatment. Additionally, I have a strong background in medical issues, psychopharmacology and mental health issues. I believe in individualized treatment which meets the specific needs of each person suffering from the disease of addiction.

Education/Credentials
I currently hold a Masters Degree in Human Services/Psychology. I am also continuing with a PhD in Counseling Psychology. I am internationally certified as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, and licensed as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I am additionally pursuing the credential of a Substance Abuse Professional which will allow me to work with and evaluate individuals who are employed within the D.O.T. system. Lastly, I am a partner in private practice working with individuals who are seeking recovery from addictive disorders.

Past/Present Clients
I have extensive experience working with individuals from all walks of life. I have worked with professionals, community leaders, NFL players, police officers, lawyers, nurses, homeless individuals, the indigent, doctors, and attorneys.

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