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Seeking advice on how to help 17 year old addicted to Oxycontin

I am trying to find advice about my 17 year old brother who is addicted to Oxycotin. He agreed to enter a rehab facility but once they realized his "level of use" they sent us to the emergency room where he was admitted for detox. The plan was to have him detox and then get him entered into the rehab facility. He has been at the hospital for 5 days now and is completely freaking out saying he needs to leave. There seems to be no place to send a kid to receive detox and rehab help. He seems to think the only way he will be able to come off the drug is to take methadone for a 3-6 month period, slowly tapering off, because that's what he's been reading online... I guess about methadone clinics. But, there is nothing like this for a 17 year old. And, the rehab places won't accept him now because he doesn't want to go and says he will leave. I know he wants help but apperantly the withdrawal from Oxycotin is horrendous and he's ready to give up. What I'd like to see happen is to tell him he has no choice but the enter rehab and if he leaves he'll be picked up as a runaway. But, he has my mom wrapped around his finger and I'm scared to death she's going to give in. I think once he gets out of the lonely hospital room and starts getting help with the mental part of the addiction and talking with other kids going through the same sort of thing he'll start feeling better.
I guess I'm just looking for advice about people's experience with this coming off Oxycotin. What would you recommend doing with a 17 year old? I have no idea what he's actually going through and am not sure how to help him or what the best thing is for him at this point.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Oxycotin is a very difficult withdrawal, be wary of him going on methadone, that is just substitution, Mehtadone has an awful withdrawal also, I have been clean off of ALL drugs for 23 months now, what got me clean was 12 step programs like Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. For a person to get clean they have to want it for themselves, Treatment will help if he is willing,  Just being their for your brother may help him but do not pressure him into anything, this will push him  further away, if you know anyone in a 12 step program contact them and they will help you, if you do not you can always phone the helpline to talk with someone, the phone number is in the phone book. Their is help available, Personally I have seen some very sick people, all ages get recovered from any type of drug.  Hope this helps you.

Jim Carrigan
Avatar universal
First of all I am the mom of an oxy addict.  If  my daughter had become addicted while she was still a minor, I would have had her in a rehab center in a nano second.  Against her will or not,  for a multitude of reasons.  It sounds like your brother is like my daughter was, she had a horrid addiction in a manner of months  (ended up to be 2 years) and smoked 8 to 10 80mgs of oxy on her "ideal" usage day.  Thank god she did not kill herself.  If I would have given up,  she just may have, most addicts, especially teens are not very rational or mentally equipped to deal with addiction or how to get clean.  Even when they really want to.....  I don't buy into the rock bottom philosophy...  where is your brother right now?  Is that not rock bottom??   Or do you wait until he is selling his body for drugs, is that rock bottom??  Not sure of what the true definition of the generic "let them hit rock bottom" means for everyone.... until they die??

Your mother needs to understand this drug will kill him if he continues to use, the younger the age the stronger the addiction.  Or he will be in prison for stealing to support his habit, and trust me, he absolutely will do anything he can to buy more oxy.  If he thinks that physical w/d is bad...  wait a few weeks and see what the mental addiction will cause him to do...  can't afford oxy, the next step is heroin.

Your mom plays an important role right now,  I am assuming he is covered on her insurance.....  my daughter wasn't... thank god we/I had the means that could pay out of pocket thousands of dollars to get treatment.  Also since your brother  is a minor,  your mother has much more control than she may know, from a legal perspective anyway.    Yes it did take my child 5 times thru rehab,  but since Feb of 2009 she has basically been in rehab full time and she is on her road back to her life as it was meant to be.......

I cannot urge or suggest strongly enough that you mother be as involved as she is capable being or wants to be.....  but it is  a personal family decision.   I  have attended Al-Anon for a few years now..... however just as I do not believe there is only one right road to sobriety, and only one treatment option, I also believe that every family member must educate themselves and do what feels right in their heart and their gut......a mother's intuition...      

This advise is based on my experience and my life. Wrong right or indifferent we chose to fight this battle as a family, our decision.   Again, your family needs to find, thru trial and error, what is the best solution for your brother, and for your lives as well. It is obvious of how much you love your brother, and I respect you for reaching out to gain knowledge in how to deal with his addiction.

If your mom ever wants to talk to someone that has truly "been there", please have her message me.  Good luck to you and your family.  
Avatar universal
Go to a meeting. They have NA versions of alanon or alanon can help YOU.  HE will not get help until HE is willing.  Pray
Avatar universal
Thanks so much everyone for your help and opinions. My brother was released from the hospital were he was detoxing for since last Thursday and he has entered a highly recommended rehab. He is back and forth about wanting to get get; one second he does the next second he doesn't. But, I think now that he is in a more supportive environment (he was going a little stir crazy alone in a hospital room with no counseling etc.) I pray he will have the strength to stay there and take advantage of what they have to offer.
The rehab requires family members to attend Al-Anon meetings which I think will be helpful, especially for my mom who struggles with just wanting to take her "baby" home. She did great today dropping him off and I feel very hopeful that we are headed in the right direction. He was on the Oxycontin for 2 months at about 180mg/ day so I am hoping we got him in soon enough to make his recovery a little easier.
Anyway, thank you all so much. It is very nice to have a place like this because I was completely unprepared for how difficult it would be for him to get off this drug.
Avatar universal
Thank you for the update, and I am so very happy he is going into treatment.  Yes he is young, and his usage is not huge......  but the younger addiction begins , the harder it is to treat, especially oxy  or opiates....  I pray your family has stepped in, and he is ready, before his addiction caused more pain to himself and your family.  Please, if you get a chance, let us/me know how he is doing in recovery.  I wish you the best, and again you are a great sister......more so than I think you can realize at this point.

I hate to disagree with others, however,  a families' love does have a huge impact on an addicts life...... you have more control than perhaps some may want you to believe. When seeking advise, please make sure those that are quick to guide, have actually "been in your shoes" rather than stating age old rhetoric.

May God be with you and yours during this time......  Take good care of you, too.  And please keep in touch.
Avatar universal
Are you still available to ask a question on this website... I need help fast... and I cant find a specialist of any kind that wont give up... Weve had therapy... hes been to jail over and over... hes been to rehab... it doesnt scare him... he literally has no emotion towards anything unless you get in between him and his drugs and alcohol... hes in a gang and hangs out with gang members all day... i know he will end up in jail for a long time or dead if i dont act right now... if i send him to jail, he will hate me more and get out and back to what he does in no time with nothing but new friends and "connections" from jail... and if i send him to rehab he will run away or hang out while he is there and then go right back to drugs and gangs afterwards... i dont know what to do.... somebody please help me.
Avatar universal
Cody try starting a new thread,incase she's gone from here maybe someone else can answer your questions? My heart hurts for you,I couldn't imagine my baby girl ever going through what I did. I'll pray for you guys!! Xox
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