Friday, October 22, 2010

WTF? (Part 2)

Today marked Day 7 of my son's Suboxone withdrawal. Unfortunately, Day 1 through Day 6 were pretty awful for him. Like I said earlier, it wasn't quite heroin withdrawal, but that doesn't mean it didn't suck real bad. Body aches, pains, fatigue, insomnia, sweating, dizziness, headaches, etc. You name the symptom and my kid probably had it. And there were no signs of any improvement.

Finally, last night, after seeing our son be miserable for almost a week, and after he missed a full week's worth of classes, we decided that we'd call the doctor's office today and ask if there was anything that could be done to ease the pain of the Suboxone withdrawal. When my wife called the doctor this morning, they told her to bring my son in.

The doctors at this particular office are addiction specialists, and today they were only accepting walk-ins. No appointments. So my wife and son made the trip out to the other side of town and waited to see the doctor. Unfortunately, the long wait they encountered forced us to have to miss a family session with my son's therapist late this afternoon. But what went down at the doctor's office was definitely interesting.

Today my son didn't see his usual doctor. (FYI, his usual doctor is the one that gave him the "stop smoking pot or lose the Suboxone" ultimatum.) He saw a different doctor, and this doctor was brutally honest about the Suboxone withdrawal. According to my wife, the "new" doctor said my son was weaned off the Suboxone too quickly, and that if he continued not taking it he would probably "be sick for a year." Of course, my reaction to hearing that was, "What the fuck?"

Evidently--and this is just speculation on my part--my son's usual doctor was trying to teach my kid a lesson by taking my kid off the Suboxone as quickly as he did. My kid didn't quit smoking pot, so Dr. Hardass figured he'd show him. OK, doc. You made your point. Thanks for fucking up my kid's world--and his family's--for a week. Now, can we move on?

The new doctor suggested that my son go back on the same Suboxone dosage. Then, after he stabilizes, the doctor will wean him off the drug at a much slower rate, which should limit the pain of withdrawal. Granted, the new doctor also told my son that he has to give up the pot smoking. And that he has to test clean very soon or risk losing the Suboxone again. But I think this doctor is a bit more sympathetic. At least I hope he is.

Let me stress that I totally understand the doctors' ultimate goal here: to get my son to stop smoking pot, which has been the gateway drug for him since he first started experimenting with drugs way back when. I certainly applaud that. But as a doctor, shouldn't your first concern be the health of your patient? You can't prescribe a drug to someone and then suddenly take it away as a punishment. A punishment that makes that person so physically ill that their whole like pretty much comes to a complete halt for a lengthy period of time. What sense does that make? Needless to say, I'm pretty pissed off at that first doctor.

So that's where things stand right now. My kid is back on Suboxone, and says he's committed to giving up the marijuana. Let's hope so. If not, the pain and misery of Suboxone withdrawal will re-visit his world again in the not-too-distant future. And that's something I don't want to be around to see.


  1. that poor boy of yours, bless his heart! There isn't a huge amount left to say but my thoughts as EVER with him and you and your to you all xoxoxox

  2. Ah I see from this that your son has actually stopped other opiates. Hence, another post I commented on is defunct.

    You are at the brink of withdrawal though, and that is the biggest blessing in disguise.

    As for the pot, hate to say it but it really helped my methadone withdrawals. They arent really connected IMHO - but what do I know I am a bit of an idiot at times.

    Best wishes, stay strong.