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    Whom to consult for addiction to prescribed drugs in a person with no active social life?

Posted on Fri, 18 Sep 2015 in Drug Abuse
Question: It is difficult to know where to start as my son was never diagnosed until now. He is nineteen. He started medicating himself for the unbearable symptoms he had Stealing cough medicine,taking my prescribed medicine he knew would sedate him. We have taken him to countless psychiatrists, therapists, and not one doctor ever suggested he had adhd except for one and by then XXXXXXX was so into medicating himself he abused all meds prescribed. He has been in the emergency room once a month for overdoses of every sort. He needs an excellant doctor who can help him to teach himways of copingI believe. He had a seizure last week and i fear for his life. I am watching a beautiful person kill himself. He isolates and never goes anywhere. He has developed addictions because of the self medicating, He has no friends and spends time on the internet where he thinks they are his friends. They are doing more harm. He needs a place to go and be treated for this. And this is only half the battle.We never leave him alone for fear he will kill himself. He says he isnot suicidal. Know one hashelped us. He alays ends up in rehab and the main problem is his adhd. Of course the addiction grew as he abused to feel normal.I can't descsibe the pain he is in and I fell it too. We are desparate for help, XXXXXXX is slight of build, red head and a really talented, kind and beautiful person and he is dying. Can someone help??? Please. XXXXXXX XXXX
Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
You start at one point and work from there.

Detailed Answer:
First, addiction doctor with knowledge of Motivational interviewing techniques (active listening) is helpful in getting patients to accept treatment.
Second, addiction to even mild drugs at very young ages (16 or under) is associated with it being very difficult to get off of them. Age 19 is significantly better than 16 but worse than in the 20's.
Third.... cough medicine gets to be an interesting situation. DEXTROMETHORPHAN interacts with many medications and lowers the liver's ability to get rid of them. Their levels increase and can cause seizures in someone who doesn't actually have a risk of seizures. Knowledge of the interaction can benefit even addicts who are out of control. Knowing that other medications have to be cut back on while there is dextromethorphan in the system can be done by even otherwise out of control addicts.
Then....... addiction in the context of ADHD. Certainly recommendation of having both treated is standard. BUT, the possibility of other diagnoses is rather a key point. Abused drugs can mimic the symptoms of ADHD. Bipolar disorder can be a very difficult to treat underlying condition of both but it gets treated worse when it isn't treated at all because of it not being considered. Drugs that are low toxicity but damp down brain activity are the main ones to use in bipolar (schizophrenic drugs like mellaril, anti-seizure medicines at very low doses, lithium).
So.... motivational interviewing in addiction is generally done by addiction PSYCHIATRISTS and they would be able to consider all of the issues mentioned.

But they aren't the treatment.
The treatment is milieu based and can begin today. In adolescents (well, anyone) who have complex addictions especially, group meeting environments that are very very intrusive are an important component. This would be
1) a 12 step program (probably one for narcotics).
2) a family 12 step program such as alAnon. Often for family as a unit.
Can be Church based. Needs to involve family unit.
3) then, obviously, removal of triggers/cues for abuse (medications in a lockbox. Today., Removal of other abusable substances, removal of cues/triggers such as drug paraphenalia).
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Matt Wachsman

Addiction Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1985

Answered : 3724 Questions


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