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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.

suburbophobe Thu 13-Dec-12 20:32:19

Why are you taking it on yourself actually to be responsible for this when you have 2 DCs to take care of?

No way I would want this in my home, my first responsibility is to my DC. (they cannot chose what happens to them, I can).

Why does he need to "run away" for this on an 11 hour flight? (and yes, he may not be let on board if he is not "clean" beforehand).

Thing about "running away" for treatment, you still have to come home to the same-old, same-old when you get back.

Why waste all that money?

There must be places closer to home where he can get this treatment. By starting at his GP.

And yes, from what I've heard of methodone as a treatment for heroin addiction, it is replacing one addiction with the other, it's common knowledge really.
(neighbour a doctor who works in that).

Thing is, if your DH wants to help his brother, he should go ahead <and not involve you and your DC in it!>

Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 21:16:44

Why are you taking it on yourself actually to be responsible for this when you have 2 DCs to take care of?

Easy. Because I am/we are capable of doing it and can afford it. I take it upon myself to do all I can. I have taken in one extra child already and will take in another one if it's needed and I'm in a position to do it well.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Thu 13-Dec-12 21:25:38

But shouldn't working with doctors here in the UK be the first port of call? Honestly its unlikely that a 2 week trip would have made any difference to those addicts I'm aware of. They'd need a whole package of care in the here and now. (for example mum had detox drugs then a residential then Mon to Fri full days in a centre. Also given a support worker etc) its a long term huge life issue to deal with. This is all on the nhs.

I think addiction and the lifestyle is a whole complex mess and needs quite a complex package to manage in many cases.

The person has to want to change. They could be going to their gp, getting refered to drugs and alcohol team etc. With your support.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 21:27:19

One of the issues to think about is if he decides to leave the Monastery, Thailand is a bloody dangerous place for an addict.

I used to work in an NHS rehab, unfortunately closed now. We saw lots of people from private rehabs, people who had done fancy rehab time. What they needed was boundaries and no bullshit. Supplied in large amounts by the NHS.

It might be worth asking your BIL why is comparing himself favourably with other addicts/'junkies' rather than with other people who don't use. I always used to wonder about the people I worked with who were dismissive of the other clients. I used to ask them, "so, you think you're better than everyone here? Why are you here then, not somewhere better?"

WeAreSix Thu 13-Dec-12 21:32:16

I can't offer any better advice, but wanted to wish you all well. You sound strong and determined stubborn like me I really hope this works for you and your extended family b

WeAreSix Thu 13-Dec-12 21:32:50

No idea where the extra b came from, sorry!!

crochetfish Thu 13-Dec-12 21:32:58

I work in with drug users and I think you've been given some sound advice already but I would strongly suggest you establish a relationship with the local drug team prior to rehab and put together a clear package of support ready for after rehab.
Also in the area I work funding for several months in rehab is accessible to our clients as is after care. You might find you can get something like this too.
I wish you all every success with your plans and your DPs brother's recovery.

crochetfish Thu 13-Dec-12 21:34:33

No idea where the extra 'in' came from!

Smithson6 Thu 13-Dec-12 21:48:13

Another one here who has worked extensively with addicts and i strongly second MrsT's comments about hepatitis- its very infectious and the treatment is awful awful awful. Be mindful of that and take precautions when you are with him.

Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 21:52:17

I have had some very good advice, and will follow it as far as I can, although I'm not calling all the shots. I spoke to several drug workers this evening who have suggested possible treatments. My plan is to get him to his GP and get him signed up on a programme.

MrsTerry, you are right of course. I suppose ultimately he knows he low, but comforts himself by thinking he is not the lowest of the low! Actually he is decent person and he has been through some bad stuff. I also know, from bringing up DN, how much of this is down to poor parenting. I believe he can be fixed, but if it doesn't work, at least we tried.

I'm sure they'll let him leave the monastery if he wants to - you have to be there of your own free will for it to work. He's a grown man after all, and can make his own decisions.

Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 21:52:50

What precautions should I take? He definitely has Hep, and we can't rule out HIV.

DorsetKnobwithJingleBellsOn Thu 13-Dec-12 21:57:00

Lofexodine also helps with the symptoms of withdrawal.

Good luck.

Smithson6 Thu 13-Dec-12 22:22:22

Just be wary of vomit, blood, saliva and other bodily fluids. Be careful of and keep separate his toothbrushes, razors and so on. If you find yourself in a situation where he has puked or is bleeding etc. clean up very well and very carefully. Use gloves. Personally i would be much more wary of hepatitis than HIV -as MrsT says the HIV virus doesn't last long outside the body but Hepatitis is a persistent little fucker.

Smithson6 Thu 13-Dec-12 22:25:07

and addicts are always looking down on each other in my experience. The crack smokers look down on the heroin smokers who look down on the heroin injectors who look down on the chronic junkies. very common behavior.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 22:25:13

As I said earlier, HIV/AIDS is not the issue. Essentially, if you are protecting yourself from hepatitis, you are also protecting yourself from HIV. No contact at all with bodily fluids without non-porous gloves. Don't share anything with the potential for blood (toothbrushes, razors etc.). Bleach mixed with water 1:9 at least to clean up bodily fluids. I would be very aware of laundry because I used to see a lot of blood doing that. Also, watch for needles hidden (picture rail, in sheets, pillow cases. Don't search, even with gloves for them without visually doing it first. Then a shake out. A needle will easily go through those gloves. Hep C can live in blood on a non-porous surface for DAYS. HIV is dead by the time it hits the surface.

Little things. Sweet food can be comforting for people coming off opiates. He may get some very bad bowel stuff happening because opiates are constipating. He will need to manage this. Flu-like symptoms. It is worse than it sounds because most opiate addicts have tried to 'feel no pain' for years so suffer much worse than someone who wasn't in this addiction.

Family stuff. His parenting might have been awful, he may have had trauma, there are reasons for his addiction. However, he chooses to use. Reasons are not excuses and your DH and MIL have been trained for years to feel love, guilt, worry, concern. This has helped him stay in addiction and them staying assisting him. None of this is healthy and they will all need to relearn habits. Your DH may have real issues with things like not being the golden child (just an example). They will all need to learn healthy patterns. Have any of them had groups or counselling?

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 22:25:47

x-posted with Smithson

ISpyDingDongMerrilyOnHigh Thu 13-Dec-12 22:27:08

Nothing I can add to the excellent advice you've had, but just wanted to say that I think you and your DP are doing a really generous thing. I wish you all the best and hope that your BIL gets the help he needs to recover.

Mamateur Thu 13-Dec-12 22:45:34

MrsTerry, thanks for that info. He will be at his DM's to withdraw, but will have to come to us at least the day before we travel. I hope to avoid the sweat and vomit phase. The reason I started this thread is because I don't want DS around that.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Thu 13-Dec-12 22:58:11

What about travel jabs for Thailand and anti-malarial medication? Travel insurance? I don't know why I'm so worried. I did get hospitalised in Thailand so I know it can happen.

Just be careful and take care of yourself. Also, I know I sound paranoid... on the way home pack your own bags and don't let him near them for any time at all. Get rose ties on the zips so you know if the bag has been opened.

quoteunquote Thu 13-Dec-12 23:46:16

I can see many many things that can go wrong with all stages of your plan,

no part of the plan replicates successful recovery programs,

Which would be fine, because you could then try again with different methods,

Except you are locating the vital part of the plan in a country that has a death penalty for drugs, because drugs are so readily available.

the place you have chosen, has had people flee and get into serious difficulties, there problems that come afterwards when returning to home environment,

please get some specialist advice, and I recommend that you find a funded program here that provides ongoing support which will insure it is a permeant solution, where medical support is available,

any travel insurance you try to take out will be invalid as if you don't declare the addiction, it won't be valid should you go to claim,

I understand the desperation, and the lure of what appeals as solution,

Sometimes when a love one is endless hopeless addled addicted life, it's easy to latch on to what seems one stop wonder to end something that dominates the whole of family life.

please please get specialist advice, you may not like what you hear, it's frustrating, but you all need to go and really listen to how best to help your BiL.

Yes see if you can get him to see someone who can prescribe something to help with the detox.

If he's on meds it will be easier on him and those around him and if you can control the symptoms of withdrawral mil will be less likely to come into contact with any bodily fluids which will help with the hep risk

I second all of the above ^^

It sounds like a mad plan, ill thought through and potentially fraught with danger.

TinyDancingHoofer Fri 14-Dec-12 00:15:06

OP you sound really lovely. I don't have any advice but a friend's mother went to a rehab in thailand and has been clean for a couple of years now so have hope it may all end well. Good luck.

ilovesooty Fri 14-Dec-12 00:28:23

I work in the drug intervention programme and I second all the comments about the risks and danger associated with this course of action.

I simply can't understand why he isn't in treatment with your local, funded community drug team who would offer detox and rehab options within a planned recovery journey.

And I honestly think mixing your honeymoon in a country like Thailand with someone addicted to Class A substances is so dangerous it's unbelievable that you're even considering it.

sugarandspite Fri 14-Dec-12 01:50:47

Mamateur - please forgive me, I may have you totally confused with another poster but your name rings a bell. Is it your DPs mother who used to have DN living with her until it became clear that she couldn't maintain appropriate routines / boundaries / healthy discipline etc?

If this is the case, are you truly confident that she will be able to apply such behaviours to managing your BILs short term detox? Can she be trusted to stand strong in the face of begging / lying / manipulating?

And just one final thought - your honeymoon should be a time for laughing, loving, dreaming up your future and focusing totally on your little family unit. Following your current plan will not allow you to do this - you will be constantly thinking and worrying about what BIL is up to.

Please don't allow your kindness and generosity to make you miss out on what should be such a special time.

I believe there is a reason most newlywed couples do not choose to take a drug-addicted sibling on honeymoon with them.

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