Have others experienced worry/concern regarding their loved one in long term recovery? My son is on MAT, had been doing well, and I'm beginning to worry 3 years into the journey

son
opiates
suboxone

#1

My son has been in recovery from heroin/fentanyl for a little over 3 years with the help of a great trauma therapist and addiction psychiatrist. He is on medicated assisted treatment (MAT) and takes Suboxone for long term maintenance. When he first got sober from opiates, he was taking 32mg per day of Suboxone, and by this past summer he was down to 1-2mg per day. This all happened while he was living in Israel (he moved there 15 or so years ago). He had been doing really well and recently moved back to NYC to be closer to the family and work.

This being his first winter in so long, in addition to the adjustment to a new way of living has been hard on him. As a family we’re all so proud of him and how far he’s come, and kind of got to a place where the worry went away. However things have changed a bit. My son is not happy here and is contemplating moving back to Israel. But the main concern is he shared over the weekend that he has been thinking about using recently, and because of that started taking more Suboxone (8mg). We had a great discussion and spoke about him cutting back down, looking for an addiction psychiatrist in NYC, and ways to make life seem more fulfilling for him. And I also told him I love him and am here for him no matter what. This morning he told me he already started taper his dose of Suboxone down, and hopes to get back to 1-2mg per day.

A few thoughts:

  • I’m happy he’s comfortable to be open and honest with me about this
  • I thought I was in the clear and am a bit blindsided by all of this
  • I’m concerned that increasing his Suboxone dosage will lead to him using opiates again

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Feeling like you’re out of the chaos and then suddenly things become concerning again? Would appreciate any advice, feedback, perspective! Thanks!


#2

@Barry My heart goes out to you and your family. I’m in a mental heath support group for men. And even though I’m not addict myself, their are ones in my group and I have had conversations about this topic with them. What I have learned from them is that for some, but not all. The craving never goes away or takes. That’s a battle that some have to live with for a very long time. I think that the fact that he is trying and being very open and honest with himself and with you is amazing and very positive. This is something I never had with my ex. The lying and the deceiving to herself and to the ones that loved her never seemed to go away. With that being said I think that openness and honesty should be celebrated. As far as worrying I think that as loved ones we will always worry about them. One thing I had to remind myself when I was in the thick of it all was to be gentle to all parties involved (yourself, your loved one that is an addict, and the other loved ones around you both). Accepting them and supporting them with love can also go a long way to keep them open and honest. And I also had to remind myself that healing has no set time line.

Hope this helps…Much love for your and your family
Chris


#3

Thank you for this @Chris. I agree the worry will always be there, I’ve just noticed it has escalated a bit but is manageable. Last night our whole family had a conversation about it and I’m very proud of him for being honest with all of us. We’re working on a plan!

Right now our priority is making sure he doesn’t keep increasing the amount of Suboxone he is taking for fear it will lead him back to heroin.

Thanks much!


#4

His being able to share with you and ask for your help is priceless. My son is on MAT and it seems like the best treatment available right now, though not perfect. I hear the cravings can go on for years. It helps me to stay in the present moment, especially when spending time with my loved ones, and be appreciative.