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Advice needed please(13 Posts)
Hi all, I’m not a mum (yet) i Joined this website a bit prematurely but that’s another story! But I need a mums advice.
It’s a long one so I hope you can bear with me.
I have a friend / colleague who was (and still is) addicted to codeine
About 7 years ago this person (I’ll call her Louise) was admitted to hospital and had basically had half her stomach cut out because she was addicted to nurofen plus (it was the codeine that she was addicted to, but the ibuprofen that ruined her stomach) anyway to cut a long story short. My colleague and my friend got better... Until a few years later. I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what caused it but she went back on the pills, but instead of the nurofen plus, she changed to paramol, which is paracetamol and codeine.
I as a friend at the time, (although me and Louise were not speaking at this time), I messaged and spoke to her mum telling her Louise was back taking the pills.
I don’t know what her mum did, or even if she spoke to her about this, all I know is nothing has changed.
Go forward 3 years at least
I see her come in work every day, I see her pop her paromol + sometimes her nurofen plus everyday and I’m not exaggerating the amount, it’s 32 a day at least - it’s back to the stage she was, when she got rushed into hospital and had half her stomach taken out! She’s sick (vomiting) every few hours.
It’s not only me who sees her, my other colleagues see her as well.
Everyone comments on her, and not in a good way.
One colleague told me he saw her taking the pills and soon as the pills went in her mouth she was retching but she still put the pills In her mouth.
I feel like Her body is refusing the pills but she’s still forcing them down!
She was told to take some time off work to sort herself out 3 months ago, she collapsed at the wheel whilst driving 12 months ago and had she surrendered her license as she said she may have epilepsy (I don’t know if that’s true or not) but she was driving after surrendering her licence but then got caught of someone who threatened to tell the police if they saw her driving again
She is completely addicted and needs help.
I feel like I should contact her mum again and tell her what’s going on, but last time I told her mum nothing (to my knowledge) was ever said or done
I just look at her every single day and see her get worse and worse. She can’t function, she can’t do her job, she’s in a world of her own. She’s Coughing, vomiting, spaced out all day. She starts a conversation with you that weve had 3 days ago like we’ve never had it before.
She’s so not with it
She’s off her head and is desperate need for help.
Should I contact her mum and tell her or have I already done that years ago when I told her mum she was back on the tablets?
If I was Louise I know my mum would want someone to step In and let me know something was wrong but I’ve done that already and nothing was done. Do I say something to her mum again or not ?
With Louise being in such a desperate state, I don't think contacting her mum would do any harm, but I also doubt it will do any good. Her mum is just as powerless as you are. Unless Louise decides to get help in her own, nothing will change. You're a very kind person to be so concerned about your friend.
Say something to her mum.
If she's taking 32 paramol a day that is four times the recommended amount of paracetamol and could be fatal.
It probably will be fatal anyway. The codeine (dihydrocodeine) in paramol is the least of her worries.
It's the paracetamol you/she ought to be worried about. She will be in liver failure quite soon. Her GP needs to know so that your friend can have liver function tests.
Please intervene, her organs are probably failing and she could die. I have first hand knowledge of Nurofen Plus abuse. If she's now moved on to paracetamol it could prove fatal. Please don't delay.
So it’s the paracetamol that’s worse for her? Is that what’s making her vomit all the time? And the coughing? I always thought it was the codeine or the dihydrocodeine (are they the same thing?) I’ve decided to write her mum a letter anonymously, I think it may come better from someone anonymously as we are no longer on speaking terms and I think if I spoke to her mum, she may think I’m trying to stir up trouble as I said Louise and I are no longer on speaking terms and I want her to know that this serious and last time I said something nothing was said or done to my knowledge.
I’ve spoken to people who know me and know of the situation but they have told me to stay out of it, as her mum knows already from last time i said something and also for my own sake as Louise can be very volatile not that she would harm me, but she is very aggressive in the way she speaks to people who have annoyed her (which I’ve been on the end of) hence one of the reasons why we’re no longer on speaking terms.
I feel like the anonymous letter is probably the best way to go (typed out though so I can have no come backs)
People say her mum must know what’s happening, as she does pick her up from work every now and again when she is so spaced out!
She’s in her mid 30s now, and I feel a bit shit going telling tales as it is to her mum, but her mum is the only person I know personally really. She has a boyfriend who’s on and off but I don’t really feel comfortable taking to him.
I just wish she could get a grip and see what other people see, and see what she’s doing to herself. I thought the last time she was as addicted and the whole operation sorted her out then she went back. Then I thought she would have got a wake up call from when work told her to take time off and sort herself out! But she hasn’t
It’s so obvious to the people she works with I can’t see how her mum can’t see it, then again Im probably listening to too many people who are happy to let things just glide by. I know I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happens to her and I’ve not said anything when I could.
I’m going to stick with my gut and write the letter.
Sorry I forgot to say thank you for all you help!!!
It is much appreciated, and the outside help has really made my mind up that I’m doing the right thing
Hi there OP.
It's almost certainly the large amount of paracetamol which is going to cause very serious problems for your friend.
Large amounts of this, and of ibuprofen, will cause liver failure (the paracetamol) and kidney failure (the ibuprofen) so the codeine and dihydrocodeine are not really the problem here.
It's the codeine/dihydrocodeine which is addictive here, though.
She needs an intervention urgently.
I’ve written the letter to her mum now and posted it tonight. I just hope something gets done about it. Thank you for all your help, I’m glad I opted for some outside help as I really couldn’t sit back and do nothing, it’s been driving me crazy people who know the situation telling me to stay out of it. If it backfires and I get some sort of back lash from it, it’s not going to matter, I’ve done all I can (hopefully) thanks again for all your help
Any update @user1484707098 ? I have personal experience of this same addiction and was given a year to live in Just before my birthday. There's a lot of support out there I hope your friend can access it.
Aww I’m sorry to hear that! Is there any chance of recover for you?
Unfortunately no, there is no change as yet, I’m still sat there each day watching her get worse and worse. It’s truly awful
Yes, what PP have said: the cumulative effect of that much paracetamol is the most dangerous thing for your friend’s liver, though the codeine will be the addictive part. She needs very urgent medical help.
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I'm one foot in one foot out of a treatment program now so probs have longer left thank you for asking @user1484707098
Id really encourage your friend to attend NA and get an understanding of how similar she is to others. Realising you're not alone and you aren't the only one behaving a certain way is a real relief.
All the best op take care of yourself too x
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