Addiction to Drugs/Methdose

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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 father is obviously dealing with severe withdrawals from the opioids and sedatives.  I can see how your being in a rural area might complicate matters.  Is there a substance abuse treatment program in your area?  Some of them have physicians that can prescribe.  And no methadone program in your area?  That actually would not be too surprising, as many areas still don't have them.

I wish I had a clear answer for you.  I would take him to the E.R., and at least get the week's worth of meds.  I kind of see it as an obligation that they would provide some kind of follow-up.  They certainly have doctors that could continue the prescriptions.  I would insist that you need answers, and they are a medical facility, and this is a medical problem.  

Peter  

Addiction to Drugs

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Peter L.

Expertise

I am available to answer any questions about substance use, abuse, and dependence. I can also offer perspective on treatment options and how to motivate someone to get help. I have over 27 years of experience as a substance abuse treatment professional, working with adolescents and adults in a variety of treatment settings. I feel I can answer just about any question in this topic area but can also access reference sources, or direct you to these for additional information gathering or education on your own.

Experience

I am a professional addictions counselor working in a very highly respected treatment center, as well as having a private practice in two states.

Education/Credentials
Masters Degree in Behavioral Science Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor in three states. Also an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor

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