Possibly unreasonable but a bit uncomfortable

(93 Posts)
Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 15:14:40

Early next year we are taking DP's brother away overseas to a drug rehabilitation clinic. We will be on a plane for 11 hours. To travel he needs to have not taken drugs for about 36 hours. He has come off drugs (heroin) for this amount of time before so I'm pretty sure he can do it. DP wants him to come here to us to go withdraw which I know involves a lot of vomiting and sweating.

AIBU not to want this to happen in our house? We have DS who is 3 and DN lives with us, he's 14 (but has been around his uncle in this state before and is now very anti-drugs as a result). Of course he will promise not to bring drugs into the house, or needles etc. (important, as he has hepatitis and possibly more) but can I be sure? We live somewhere he could reasonably get drugs if he wanted to.

He could go to his mum's but she lives 3 hours away and anyway I don't really trust her to be in control of the situation, and then we would have to get him over to us to get to the airport etc. and I don't want to risk wasting his ticket, treatment etc.

waltermittymistletoe Thu 13-Dec-12 16:16:45

He's never been to his GP about it? That's what he needs to do.

I've never met a heroin addict yet who is 'anti methadone'. A trip to the GP for a methadone prescription is usually par for the course with a serious heroin addiction, quite early on too.

Are you sure you are being given the full picture?

mam I worked in an nhs run inpatient detox centre a few years ago. Patients came in for 2 weeks usually methadone was used and slowly withdrawn over the 2 weeks, also other meds to stop the withdrawal symptoms.

I will try to post some details for you later when I have more time

Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 16:32:02

Yes, getting him in a state to get on the flight is the problem we are facing. I just spoke to a brilliant drug counsellor who has opened my eyes a bit to the enormity of getting him off drugs. He definitely needs to start at his GP or a walk-in service of some description.

Donkeys, thanks will PM you back!

ledkr Thu 13-Dec-12 16:36:58

He should be able to detox in hospital with meds. He needs to talk to his worker. I also used to work for the drug service and I certainly wouldn't want anyone detoxing in my home and around children.
Medication can be used to make this less stressful for him.

ledkr Thu 13-Dec-12 16:39:20

You can take a tablet which detoxes him more quickly. It's naltrexone but needs to be used as an in patient.

PolterGoose Thu 13-Dec-12 16:48:00

MissKeithLemon, I've met lots of heroin users who are very anti Methadone hmm

Mamateur, glad you are seeking advice.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 17:03:51

He may have detoxed alone before but that doesn't make it 'safe'. Alcohol withdrawal is about the most dangerous, followed by heroin (IM not medical O). Sorry to scare you but people can die in detox/withdrawal without medical supervision. It is very physically addictive (unlike something like cocaine) so your body 'needs' it.

Also, if he has hepatitis, I wouldn't be very happy dealing with bodily fluids in my home. There may well be something like bloody vomit to cope with. Are you relatively happy with universal precautions and infection control? Hepatitis is actually the one that scared me working in addictions. HIV/AIDS is a pathetically weak bug that can't live o/s the body for very long. It is also well controlled with medication now in otherwise healthy people. Not so Hepatitis. Very robust transmission and nasty to treat.

Get as much medical advice as you can.

Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 17:21:38

Thanks all. Well, I've spoken to DP and he's quite dismissive of my fears. He does agree though that he can detox with his DM rather than here. I do have fears about infection control particularly because I'm rubbish at that sort of stuff anyway. He may well have HIV too, we don't know and he certainly hasn't been tested or had any treatment. He's pretty much outside the system.

DP says that he has detoxed with his DM loads of times at his has always been fine, also that this time will be very important to him because he is desperate for this trip and this chance we're giving him so wouldn't mess up. I don't agree.

He does agree, a bit, about getting him some treatment before he goes but there's only a month now with xmas in-between. The drug clinic here have said they will prescribe him naltrexone (thanks Ledkr) or we can buy it to make the journey safer. I'm going to call his brother but don't hold out much hope.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 17:44:10

he is desperate for this trip and this chance we're giving him so wouldn't mess up Nope. You are right. It is not because he is a bad person, but because drugs are far more important right now than you, your children, your husband, his mother, anything.

I don't want to scare you actually I want to scare your DH but the worst case scenario... He comes to your house, hides a needle because that is what people do, your DC gets a needle stick and has to have a course of HIV/AIDS meds or gets hepititis, SS get involved because you allowed this to happen.

I worked in addictions for a long time. The people are wonderful when they are in healthy recovery. However, when they are in the grip of addiction, they cannot be trusted, their word means nothing. Be careful because BIL will not have the same priorities you do.

If he is really against methadone subutex can be used, lots of people slowly decrease the dose of this and then go on to naltrexone Which is used to block the effects of heroin.

He really needs to see a gp or you could phone your local drug and alcohol team, there should be one in your area that sees people as out patients

Sorry ex post with you, yes that's a good start.

I'd be very weary of having him in the house, it's surprising what lengths people go to to smuggle drugs into detox even when they want to be there.

No it doesn't mean he's a bad person, drugs take hold and become the most important thing. At the time nothing else matters

Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 18:30:01

MrsTerry, I know. He is consumed by his addiction, no-one else really matters. He was visiting once and offered to go out to get milk for DS late at night because we had run out, took a fiver and came back with a pack of tenants super. He had forgotten the milk of course!

He is definitely not withdrawing here, DP agrees.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 18:36:00

Fantastic. I'm glad he will be somewhere else. Is he also withdrawing from alcohol? That can be even more dangerous.

The other thing to think about is getting some counselling for the other people in the family. The rehab may offer this. Your DH sounds torn, his DM will be as well. Very important if this is the moment for him to get into recovery that everyone is ready. The dynamic of the family may be very unhealthy if it has been distorted by his addiction for a long time.

The fiver story is untypical, in that he actually came back, not that he spent the money on something else...

StuntGirl Thu 13-Dec-12 18:37:16

I think your partner is being a bit blind to the practicalities of what you're attempting to undertake. That said I think you're both being wonderful to try and help your brother in law. But please put yourselves and your children first.

waltermittymistletoe Thu 13-Dec-12 18:39:41

Oh that's good news mamateur

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Thu 13-Dec-12 19:16:39

I'm still unsure why you're saying for him to go abroad when you've not looked for medical help here? I'd really be anxious about an addict lo a different country myself.

Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 19:26:50

CanI, well the plan (not mine, mine would have been much better) was that we could save on the overall cost of the treatment by taking him abroad for the withdrawal, which is the 'easy' bit. He has only left the country once and we thought it would make a bit impression, help him change direction.

We are taking him here.

The detox in the UK costs thousands, this way it only costs the flights, a donation and we get a holiday (it's our honeymoon actually blush). THen we will pay for proper rehab in the UK with the blocker implants and counselling.

DonkeysInTheStableAtMidnight Thu 13-Dec-12 19:40:17

Amazing area for a honeymoon!

Is BIL quite a spiritual person?

Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 19:55:59

I wouldn't say he was spiritual. I'm trying to think what I would say. He is very intelligent, was academic, loves film, reads, etc. To look at him, when he's had a shower, you would never know. He is strong and good looking. He doesn't do crime, works in a manual job and lives on his money. Arrogant, he feels he's better the your average junkie, and I think that's what took us to this place in Thailand. I hope he might respect them. And have an 'experience' that will change his life.

He (and DP actually) had a very traumatic event when they were in their twenties. I also think he has lived in DP's shadow (year older, much cleverer, sportier, etc.) and is sick of falling short. He needs faith in himself.

To be frank, I put our chances at 50/50. THere's no more, if this fails. I'm doing this because I just can't bear the thought of his mother losing another child (we are already bringing up her daughter's son sad).

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 13-Dec-12 19:59:14

Can you lay the problem at the GP's door?

Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 20:05:20

Well, I am going to try to get him to see his GP before we leave. It's frustrating because I am a step away - DP is organising it. My way of doing it would be to frog march him to a clinic, oversee the whole thing, summon all the troops. But I don't have that mandate. I talked to DP tonight about phoning his DB to talk to him about getting in the uk system and seeing what's available = brick wall. The two weeks will finish, and he will still live on a crack-soaked estate where everyone he knows is part of his 'old' life. Pointless! I don't think he'll listen though.

He did manage to get a passport organised though (old one roached!)

MyLittleAprilSunshine Thu 13-Dec-12 20:21:41

My Dad works with people on a number of different drugs in different stages of their addiction and I hate to be cynical, but you cannot trust a heroin addict 1.) not to take drugs themselves 2.) not to bring needles or other para into the house 3.) to not act aggressive or threatening. Withdrawal is one of the worst things to watch someone go through and I would be extremely distressed as a 22 year old, I can't imagine how a young child and teenager would handle it.

Is there any possibility your DH could be with him in your house and you could stay with another family member or a friend for a few days? I know it's not ideal, but the way someone in that situation can behave can be very frightening, unpredictable and they may not always tell the truth or stick to their limitations.

I hope things get sorted for him. Does he actually want to come off heroin? After all, if he doesn't want to come off himself he wont. He needs to get to the stage he hates being on it, absolutely hates it.

I wish you good luck smile

MyLittleAprilSunshine Thu 13-Dec-12 20:28:56

DP sorry, not DH.

^ Although looks like you will be soon.

Sorry to hear about your DMILs loss of her daughter and some other horrible stuff that has happened to partner and his brother.

IWishIWasSheRa Thu 13-Dec-12 20:32:10

Just read all this and wanted to wish you all the best, you've had so much to deal with, hope things get easier soon

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