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Nancy, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience:  ABD for a PhD in Psychology, Psychotherapist for over 20 years
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Treatment needed for meth addict. Can Meth addicts ever

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Treatment needed for meth addict. Can Meth addicts ever recover, stop using? My 19-year-old son started using at age 14 and has advanced to IV use. Spent 4 months in rehab using Matrix model and meds 2/08 -- Buspar, antidepressants, Trazadone. A few visits with psychologist. He's relapsed several times. He has intense cravings and is now very depressed and has suffered anxiety and panic attacks. He was binge drinking to alleviate anxiety. He's now only taking Klonipin 2mg TID, Seroquel 100mg QHS, Prestique 50mg QD. The anxiety has subsided with the increase in Klonipin but the Seroquel is keeping him too sedated and he says he feels worse. He has severe depression and anehdonia. He's involved with AA and church. I have done a little research and noted a med called Modinafil that may be helpful. I truly believe he wants to stop and to "feel normal" but he says he uses to feel better. Last use 2/25/09. He has moved a short distance away from home and all the triggers and is living with a family that insists will help him quit. She doles out his meds because we cannot trust him with dispensing to himself. Can this be done outpatient? If not, is there a long-term treatment that is not cost-prohibitive? I've already spent $50,000 on care and emergent visits, mishaps. Is hitting bottom the only way? Right now he can't work because of the depression and sedation. He's recently ta***** *****brium for less than a week, Effexor, Abilify (he thinks he had a seizure, passed out), Prozac when he was 15 (made him "feel crazy" and he was cutting himself). He was diagnosed early on with ADD and took Straterra, Adderall, Dexedrine (which he abused later). I have a medical background as an ICU RN.


Thanks for using Just Answer.

I've worked in the field of Substance Abuse for over 20 years and can give you a few pointers.

The first thing you need to do, for you, is find an Al-anon meeting and go. Don't be concerned that Al-anon is for alcoholisc families - addiction is addiction and those meeting are the best. Don't make any excuses, don't wait more than a few days to get to a meeting, go, no matter what. It will be the single most important thing you do - I promise. You will learn more there than in any other place.

The second thing you have to do is let him start taking full responsibility for himself (they will tach you HOW to do this in Al-anon), but the basic idea is that every tiny thing you do for him is one less lesson he needs to learns for himself. He WILL NEVER GET BETTER if you continue to monitor and "help" him in any way. You can't control his meds, you can't give him money, food, transportation - NOTHING (maybe rides to meetings).

He should be attending AA (alcoholics anon) meetings, not NA (narcotics anon). AA is THE largest group in the world (not jsut for recovery) and they know what they are doing - they have been doing it right for 100 years. Bargain with him - if he wants food he has to attend a meeting for each meal. Don't back down no matter what.

Buy the AA "Big Book" it will tell you everything you need to know about addiction, recover and addicts.

Lastly, consider having him attend a LONG term (LT) treatment facility. Long term residential treatment is where the addict lives at the facility for a minimum of 18 months, they do individual therapy, group therapy and teach the residents all new living and vocational skills, so when they get out - they have skills on which to support themself.

The only guarantee here is that if YOU go to Al-anon, you will learn all the details you need to be the best parents you can be for him.

I hope this helps... please feel free to email back with any questions.


Nancy and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I do go to Nar-anon and it has been helpful. My concern is the latest treatment modalities to help with his severe depression, anhedonia while trying to maintain abstinence. It has been reported that it can take up to 2 years for the dopamine levels and the brain to recover from the abuse. I see he is trying to quit... he is severely depressed. Do you have any suggestions for LT facilities or how to "search" for such facilities that would be effective?

Is he being treated by a Psychiatrist who specializes in addictions?

Do a search for "long term treatment" facilities.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He sees a PCP for med management, and the MD has suggested he see a psychologist. The local psychiatrist specializing in addictions refused to see him because he was "using," and was very angry at us, the parents, for repeated calls to his office during a crisis situation with our son. Small town in Louisiana, not many options. We felt he was negligent and it really left a negative mark on my son - who thinks "psychiatrists don't do anything but prescribe meds; they don't care." He recently left a facility and was told to follow up with a psychiatrist, but even his PCP said he didn't need one. So how do I convince him now?? I have tried.

Even if you now have to go to another town, he needs a Psychiatrist to prescribe meds. PCP's don't have the extensive training that Psychiatrists have- this is too serious an issue to not seek the right treatment.

Psychiatrist's don't do anything but prescribe meds - that is their job. If your son wants counseling he can see anyone who works in the addiction field- psychiatrists are trained to prescribe medications - nothing else.

And, people don't need to care, to do their job effectively - when your son goes to the bank or the grocery store, do those clerks need to care, in order to make his deposit or bag his groceries? Tell him to stop blaming everyone else and stop making excuses - this is his addiction and he needs to grow up now.