How to deal with someone that's been doing well and is hitting a roadblock?

medication
opiates
depression

#1

Hi all. My son has been doing well, has been honest about his ups and downs as he navigates long term recovery, and as I shared in this post, has been honest about recently increasing his dosage of Suboxone.

He opened up to the family a few nights ago sharing that his depression had become so bad that he was having trouble functioning at all: sleeping long hours, not productive, not going to work (lost job), not taking any action, lacks motivation, and is very sensitive. Because of this he said he began to crave heroin so he continued to take larger amounts of Suboxone, and had a panic attack when he opened up to the family sharing that he only had 5 days left of medication. He had no plan as to how he would go about getting more. When he moved back to NYC from another country, his addiction doctor gave him enough to last him a long time, but he knew he would eventually have to find a doctor in NYC.

We discussed it as a family and laid out his options: either go back to where he had been living the past 15+ years or find a doctor in NYC. But due to his depression he couldn’t get himself to take any action. Last I heard yesterday, he had made some calls to doctors.

Has anyone else ever experienced something like this? Or have any tips to help someone who isn’t motivated due to a depression get a little motivation? Thanks to all!


#2

Great question, I understand the difficult place you’re put in. One thing that could help would be helping him generate a list of small tasks (small attainable goals) that he needs to achieve. Putting this information on paper reduces the intensity of the feelings of being “overwhelmed” as once they are written down they’re no longer running around in everyone’s head and can be tackled. I’d say encourage and celebrate any small actions, such as him making a few calls, and if possible find someone in the family or in his support system to offer to go to the appointment with him,

Keep us posted!


#3

It sounds like your son is doing well - his honesty and open communication with the family is such a great sign of his commitment to recovery. I agree with @erica on making a list of small, attainable goals and celebrating them. Goals like, Got out of bed. Took a shower. Called my family. Hopefully attaining these small wins will help build up to bigger tasks, like calling the doctor. I understand there is some urgency to this task, though - he will need those meds if he doesn’t want to go into withdrawals. Is there anyone in his support network who lives nearby that can come over to help him make the phone call?


#4

Thanks so much for the responses. We worked on a list of small things to check off his list, and I want to share that he went beyond the list and called a doctor the next day, made an appointment, went to it, and was given a prescription. The small steps really did help @erica and @momentsandlight. His sister met him at the appointment and sat in the waiting room while he was with the doctor, and then went with him to the pharmacy. So for now he has that handled and we’re working on his motivation to take more action in his life at the moment.

Again, thanks so much for the feedback and advice.