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The Need for a Medically Supervised Suboxone Detox

On occasion, and this doesn’t happen too often here at Pat Moore Foundation, I receive an email regarding someone needing help. Now it’s not so odd about the email, as we get them all the time, but this one specifically addressed to me, Recovery Rob. The email is from a family member of someone trying to kick a pain-killer addiction, and the addict is trying to do it on his own through a Suboxone detox. Well, he’s not totally on his own, he has a doctor but the doctor is not supervising him like we do in our drug treatment facility.

Here is an excerpt from the sister’s email.

“My brother moved to SoCal to get clean and sober. When he called me, we talked about him getting away from his ‘friends’ back east, and he was all for that. He has an addiction to Vicodin, taking nearly 30 pills a-day. I don’t know the milligram, but that surely is a lot. So, two weeks ago, when he arrived, I took him to a doctor who prescribed a Suboxone detox.

“I’ll be honest; when I heard the word ‘detox’ I began to feel uncomfortable. My brother and I have gone through a lot of emotional pain as of late, having lost a sister to addiction. It was a year ago, and the pain is still fresh, especially with my brother using drugs. Anyhow, we took the prescription home and tried to do it as the doctor prescribed, but he’s been sick, which I don’t know if this is normal. He wasn’t at first but seems to be getting sicker each day as the mg of the pills increases.

What can I do to make this better for all of us? He doesn’t want to use again, but if the pain continues, I am not sure he will feel he has a choice.

Please help.”

Just so you all know, I had permission to post this excerpt, and I changed it just a tiny bit, removing names and locations. So, what was my response?

“I feel the emotional pain and turmoil you’re both experiencing right now. A Suboxone detox, or any sort of alcohol or drug detox is rough as the body adjust to living without drugs and alcohol. I am going to give you some advice. You need to call us. We can help you. Your brother should be in a medically supervised facility like Pat Moore Foundation. Once you get him here we can watch him, adjust his medication to ease the pain of withdrawal.

“I know this is a big step, but call us.”

It’s nearly impossible to give specific medical advice over email or even over the phone to someone our counselors hasn’t seen. So, if you or a loved one is attempting a Suboxone detox on your own, consider getting help here at Pat Moore Foundation where there is Hope at Last.