My son entered the detox facility in Florida for treatment in hopes of eliminating the need for pain medicine following his earlier car accident. After a week of treatment, he returned home. The craving for pain medication was eliminated but what was not was the pain. Rather than return to the pain management physician, he elected to seek out an orthopedic specialist. He was given pain medication (Gabapentin)during detox but the side effects were horrible. The specialist was helpful in explaining what was to be expected in terms of time and healing and suggested a number of things he could do excluding narcotics. To date he seems to be regaining his ability to function as he did before the accident. I think because he now knows what to expect and how to manage the pain, he seems much better physically and mentally. Coming off any type of narcotics is difficult. It can be difficult to withdraw from even some over the counter medication or drugs not considered as habit forming but are in fact are habitual. I myself have had problems sleeping for years and have tried numerous prescribed medications to help. Trying to wheen yourself from something that seems to eliminate your problem is just another form of addiction.
One thing has become evident. I learned from this incident that substance abuse, drug addiction, whatever you choose to call it, is a lifetime battle. My son and I discussed this a number of times as he went through eighteen months of rehab. All of the meetings that I’ve attended, articles I’ve read, people I’ve spoken with, only confirm what recovering addicts know. It is a lifetime disease. Recovering addicts know the danger and hopefully are able to make the right decisions with the help of their sponsor, friends and belief in a higher power. All of us at one time or another need to reach out.
Support is essential.
As a side note, I sought more information on relapse after this incident. Having five years of sobriety in about a month, the idea of relapse causes grief to all those involved. Most would consider this as a relapse. The belief is that NA would consider this as a relapse but after discussion and help from a physician in Florida who works with addicted patients, I read a pamphlet “In Times of Illness” from NA that explains their position on a number of illnesses and their belief. It is well worth reading if you believe a relapse has occurred. It helped me and many that I’ve spoken with that the definition of relapse has certain criteria that may not be evident. For those of us and the addict themselves, that worry a relapse has occurred, the information in this pamphlet may help aid us.