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Alcoholic, drug addict. Want to detox. Prescribed with Subaxone, Methadone. Treatment?

What is the cost of your consultation? My 36 year old son has been a long-time alcoholic and drug abuser. During the past year he started using heroin . He s tried to detox on his own several times but always went back. He used methadone for some period, and a few months ago he went to a doctor who prescribed Suboxone . Supposedly this doctor said my son was fairly healthy. As far as I can tell, my son didn t follow the plan and so eventually went back to methadone and/or heroin. He lives in Colorado but this week I brought him back to Georgia so I could help him during the detox process. Now I find he is in much worse physical condition than I could imagine, this after seeing him for Christmas. During the past two months he starting shooting black tar heroin, whereas before he said he was smoking it only. He is 6 3 and probably weighs less than 130. He appears jaundiced to me, but he said the heroin made his skin turn that color. He has no muscle mass at all, where he used to be broad shouldered and strong. I fear for his life. His last dose was about 18-24 hours ago, and now he is so week he cannot open a can. I had to help him hold a bowl of soup earlier, My question is - and I know you cannot diagnose without examining him, but do you think he is in immediate danger? He s been very resistent to seeing a doctor or going to an emergency room, but I will call an ambulance if necessary. Would you recommend going to an emergency room, seeing a medical doctor or psychiatrist? Also, he is penniless. He did work as a computer systems engineer, but now he can hardly turn on the computer.
Asked On : Sat, 19 May 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  112
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Addiction Medicine Specialist 's  Response

Please take him to the ER as soon as possible. I feel he is jaundiced, as you suspected. He would find it difficult to go through the withdrawal process without medical help. Till then keep giving him lots of fluids. This time, once he is detoxified, try putting him on naltrexone to keep him off opioids. He will need to stay with someone who can keep an eye on him and make sure he is taking his medicines as prescribed.

Best wishes.
Answered: Sun, 28 Jul 2013
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