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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for drug addiction


I have a 24-year-old daughter who has been dealing with a drug addiction for over ten years. She recently had consumed a gread dealm of PCP ("Angel Dust") and was admitted into the hospital because she was roaming around the streets naked, acting delusional, and having severe mood swings. She was putting herself in harm's way. After being admitted for only a day or so, I spoke to her doctors on the phone. They said that she would be released if she could answer a few questions, in a sane manner. My other daughter and I picked her up, and she was still in bad condition. She had chopped a great deal of her hair off, talking in a strange voice, and behaving insanely. After bringing her home, she slept, woke up, and threatened to hurt me physically. Then, she ran out the door. I could not catch up with her. A few hours later, I located her and brought her to a rehabilitation facility, but they were allowing her to make her own deciscions because she simply sounded sane and voiced a plan of action to eliminate her addiction to marijuiana, pain killers, and other recreational drugs. Sadly, I discovered she has been doing thse drugs behind my back, while still in her rehab outpatient program. Since she is an adult, it has been difficult for me to find laws that would permit me to have her taken away to a drug rehabiltiation facility, where she can stay against her will. She has been putting herself in danger by doing these drugs and I do not see her improving. Are there any laws or medical rules that would permit me, or a physician to have control over her medical affairs, since I am her parent? I know she is not a minor, but I am afraid she will die because she has no home of her and and does not want to live with me. Drugs are easily accessible to her , wherever she goes. She needs to have a psychiatric evaluation, couseling, and permanent drug rehabiltation. How can I make this happen?
Thu, 1 Dec 2016
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Addiction Medicine Specialist 's  Response
The rule is "danger to self or others" but this does not seem to include drug use by itself. Considering the biggest cause of death this week in my county is drug overdose, it seems random to me that drug use is ok, but suicidal thoughts are not.

Beginning to get someone motivated for change is the first step and usually the most difficult one. There are a number of strategies that have been recommended but people vary and there is none that work even most of the time. One is to have someone fail to the point where they have to accept help. Related to that is motivational interviewing techniques of having people be open to acknowledging there is a problem. The motivation part is to ask what people want. If it is solely to get high all the time, then it is going to be quite difficult for them to accept help. Otherwise, if it is something material (home, cars, stuff), or experiential (having a happy life), or some life goal then seeing how being off drugs can connect to the benefit.

But, if someone just wants to get high, then it is going to be difficult to get them into a treatment program.
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