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She has parkinson disease for 2 years. Had a major back surgery and is in pain since. Back surgeon cant explain why. They recommend her taking vicodin. Vicodin makes her more off balance. I cant trust her with pain meds. She has shown signs of addictive behavior. Ive been able to get her off of it but just last night i caught her taking Lyrica without my permission and lied to me that she didnt take it and that she doesnt know how it got into the drawer. Im losing my mind over this. I had this lyrica in ny cabinet upstairs in my room. My mom would have had to climb a flight of stairs to get to it. She is a compulsive liar with a drug addiction and im losing my mind over it. I dont like liars and drugs. She shared her vicodins with her brother and grandson in the past. Im so disgusted! I dont know what to do next!!!!help?

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I'd recommend a locking cabinet and only one or two persons administer her drugs. Even though I take care of my mom evenings and weekends, the day care person is the one who dispenses the drugs (into one of those pill boxes that can be dispensed for a week at a time). That way we know her meds have been ordered if they are running low, she's not doubling up on meds that may cause adverse effects and she's not missing dosages.
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You can buy a video cam at from radio shack best buys for 25 bucks. Set the cam up and them when you get home or view on line. I have video cam with my security company in my house and can look inside my house all through out the day at my pets or see when my kids get home.
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Muffincat I'm definitely not telling my mother that! She thinks I'm the pain relief Nazi. Not good enough that she was glugging down ibuprofen enough to give herself an ulcer a few years back, she firmly believes that a 'couple' extra paracetamol a day can't hurt you…

What part of Do Not Exceed The Stated Dose is ambiguous? I agree about the teens. I'd show videos of acute liver failure to all secondary school age children if I had my way and see if they still thought it was romantic.
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Country mouse I fully agree about the paracetamol, but some how those old livers seem to tolerate the stuff. Ive met folk taking 4x 4 x day.. or some even 6 at a hit... and not one little liver cell turns over and tries to spit it out. I personally cant even take one!! Then the dear little OD teenager who has broken up with the b/friend takes a card full, and tells mom, 6hrs later and wonders what all the fuss is about as her liver dies on her, due to the once only ... not what she expected as a dramatic non suicidal but by your own hand death scenario.
Agree fully that its back to the health provider to sort out the medication problems and the pain, and allow OP to be a daughter not a security guard
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I have to ask where she is getting the meds in such quantities that she is able to abuse them?
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Muffincat if they're really doubling up on paracetamol that should simplify matters before too long. Though not in a good way.

Jenz I sympathise with your worry about your mother's abusing what are, after all, narcotics. It must be very frightening for you, and very hard to know what to do. I was going to suggest a locked medicine cabinet, too; but for one thing locks can be broken and for another this is your home, it's not a bank vault. You shouldn't need to lock things away as long as they're kept in a safe place where they can't be taken accidentally or unnoticed. Very difficult for you, that you feel you have to.

I wonder, though. With Parkinson's and a back injury, your mother's pain is real. At the same time as being as strict as you reasonably can with her current meds, would it be a good idea to get back to her surgeon and get him to buck his ideas up? He doesn't know why she's in pain? Well - FIND OUT and deal with it. Because his patient is a little old lady who is living in constant pain. And if he can't get anywhere, he needs to refer her to someone who can.

The other plus that comes with focusing on tackling the pain issue is that instead of your being anxious and angry with your mother (understandably, of course) you would be offering her active help with her pain problem; which might usefully take the limelight off the addiction problem. It's hard enough to face up to being an addict, almost impossible, I'd have thought, when you are also coincidentally in genuine pain.

This is me being seriously naïve, I expect - but why do people like taking Vicodin? It's a horrible drug! What's wrong with a single malt?
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If she is truly an addict, SHE must want to stop and she needs help. If she wants recovery, Narcotics Anonymous is available for free http://www.na.org/. Otherwise she will do whatever it takes to get "high" and other than locking her up, there is not much that can be done.
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I use the machine Wendela mentioned for my mom. It beeps and flashes. She can only get her prescribed meds at 9 am and 8 pm. But they sit there in the box if she doesnt get them. Then at next dose it progresses to the next pills and she cant get the ones she skiped. I have to tell her where the Advil and Aleve are if she gets back pain or a headache . (on the back of the counter.). She forgets they are there.
I can see when I fill the box whether she missed any. Since she has several hours to remember she does pretty good. As above maybe a small safe would keep the other meds safe. I bet you are getting crazy over this. If she is like my mom, she will hound you until you satisfy her. I like the idea of the look alike pills. Prayers for you.
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As PST wisely says, lock up the meds and call 911 when and if she goes into withdrawal. Ultimately, this is kinder that enabling her and will get her (and you) the help she needs.
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Plain and simple get lock box.
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I went to Target and bought a small black safe with a number code you have to punch in to put all of my Mom's medications in as well as the pill boxes with the daily meds. I am thinking I may have to put her eye drops in there pretty soon as she has been caught trying to use them more than twice a day and they are to lower the pressure in her eye.

You need to inform everyone of the problem including doctors, family, pharmacist etc so they can be aware and not give her anything without you knowing. Is this straight out addiction or is she suffering with dementia?

I have a sister who is a hypochondriac and she has huge plastic bins of bottles of medication she has been given. She use to "doctor shop" and went through tons of medication meant for headaches....she could take 100 in two weeks. It led to ulcers and she was taken off of them, now she has ulcers again most likely due to the use of these medications again. If she were to drop over, we would have NO IDEA what to tell paramedics that she has taken.

LOCK UP EVERYTHING and GET A LOCK FOR YOUR DOOR OR LOCK UP YOUR MEDS AS WELL.

You feel like a jail keeper but hey you do what you have to do! Good Luck and God Bless!
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Her MD can send her to a pain management clinic and they will discuss addiction. Unfortunately you must lock up the meds from now on. If you see withdrawal symptoms, get her admitted to the hospital for detox/rehab. Put a deadbolt lock on your bedroom door. Be alert for things disappearing, as the other addicts will pawn anything they can to support their habit. A hidden camera wouldn't be a bad idea either.
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Vb I totally agree with you on the bullying and manipulation tactics. In my case my mother is a retired RN with 40 yrs of nursing supervisor experience. She knows better but my sister and brothers are enablers to the point where she BLAMES me for her chronic pain. They come once a yr (maybe) for their duty visit and hurry out the door saying 'good luck'. Oh, the stories they can tell when there is a different listener.
JENTZ....this is just the beginning of your mother's journey. All she has to think about all day long is how, where, when and will I get more pain pills. If pain pills are not at hand then she will reach for an alternative medication which will hold her over until she can devise a new plan of action. The lying about the lyrica is a warning sign to you that she will go to any extremes and put herself in harms way to find a replacement med.
I have tried the ole switch a rue method, ice packs, heat, massage therapists, physical therapists and guess what? You can go full circle right back to I want you to give me MY pain pills or else. If you have the time and I mean a lot of it along with plenty of patience, she can be trusted again, but only with you help and loving encouragement. Keep me posted.
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Contact her Doctor. Make an app. to speak with him about this.
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Here in NZ, if one is a known drug addict or abuser, or family members who steal, then the pharmacy deliver just one week or even 3 days worth of analgesia meds, at a time, to reduce the possibility of stock piling or ODing. I don't know what the docs can do, Yes the elderly have nothing else to do [in some cases] but focus on their pain.... focusing is also a sign of dementia, and to then be rewarded with a pill is wonderful. If they don't give pain relief then docs are called callous and no sympathy for the person.. if they do, then its likely to be abused. I would guess over 3/4s of the elder population are on paracetamol, your aceti???? whatever., and they even double up on that, and boy do they know when the 6hrs are up and can be ringing on the bell or demanding their next fix.... Yes I live with chronic pain, but no I don't take meds as I am sensitive or allergic to most. so have used other coping methods. This situation is one of those between the brick wall and rock face for sure
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I have an 88 year old mother and a 65 year old sister addicted to XANAX. Father had all the issues with the back and 4 back fusions. Deceased now. Personally, my sister is a MESS. A liar and a manipulator and she is using her little magic on my mother to get her drugs. I really do not know how to handle both of them, their mood swings and then they get stuck on one thing and will not let it DROP. Sorry to say they have become Bullies. Personally, I think Doctors are drug dealers for the elderly.
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I live in an area with a pharmacy service that prepackages the meds into days of the week, time of day the meds are suppose to be taken. The pharmacy has 4 weeks delivered at a time. The prepacked weeks are sealed so the seal has to be broken to get the meds. It has relieved some stress with the bedtime pain meds because my mother is unable to stockpile them in her room. The program was designed to help seniors living alone so they didn't confuse their meds and the person who delivers them can evaluate if they are being taken regularly, etc so if there was a problem, they would have the pharmacist contact the doctor's office. Hence, there are no prescription bottles anywhere in the house.
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She may have RSD or CRPS and maybe different medication will help, rather than the opioid type medication, I do feel for you, that must be so hard to deal with. I agree that its going to be locks or combination locks to keep her out but also hide the hammer as Im sure she will smash the cabinet if she can. What a time and stress to have to deal with. My initial reaction was, that you should not be having to cope with this in YOUR home, and do I get that both her brother and g/son are drug addicts also????? so that you have no other family support?. my next reaction is, well Im guessing she is aged so does it matter if she is an addict............ I used to really wonder when relatives didn't want the 'patient' to be getting morphine for their cancer pain when they were in hospital for palliative care, so they didn't become addicted.......... and Id gently ask if they realised that it didn't matter, that the person wasn't going to be wandering the streets, robbing other folk, that they had a terminal illness that was nearly terminating.. I hope you get some support from Feelingweary60
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My mother lives with me also and has had numerous unsuccessful back surgeries. Claims she is always in pain. Long story short...she is addicted to fentanyl, Vicodin, morphine, neurotin, Xanax, you name it! She even abuses laxatives. Take my advice and lock up her meds. My mother even lies about taking melatonin to sleep at night..1 pill is all that is needed to sleep and she will dose out 6!!! We have had 3 ER visits due to overdoses where I needed an ambulance to carry her out. For every pill I take away she will search throughout my house looking for something else to take. Even Benadryl. Threatening does not work. LOCK them up until she needs her meds. She is not suicidal, just an addict! her behavior has turned into something I have never seen in her before.
I know very well how frustrating it is because you can't watch her 24 hrs a day and they are very sneaky. Finally...after 3 exhausting yrs she is finally off of the Vicodin. Take BABY STEPS go slow and wean your mother off of one addiction at a time. Withdrawal is brutal. Now with a starting point I am weaning her off of morphine. I tell her how proud I am of her and what an accomplishment it is at her age.
Your angry and disgusted and she knows it but doesn't care due to the addiction. The pills are more important than your feelings. Try to occupy her time with a board game or playing cards (something to distract) and every hr that passes without a pill adds up to days and weeks off that crap!! Believe me, she will be very grateful for your support and compassion. If you need to talk more, just let me know.
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There is nothing worse than being in chronic pain!! I KNOW, as I am one of those people. And when one cannot be active and focus on anything other than themselves, it can be worse. There are other natural ways of working with pain issues....I use heat packs and essential oils which many times are better than narcotics. I've been prescribed Vicodin....and I do not like drugs that affect the mind and balance etc. The other recommendations to lock up meds and to consult with doctor about other things to try are helpful. If she IS addicted, then, yes, ask for treatment for that. Is it time for hired caregivers in the home to supplement what you are doing to care for her? Could she get involved with a day care for adults, so that she's out of the house and with others for part of the day several times a week, for social contacts and distraction? Have you tried any natural methods to supplement meds? Massage therapy, hot baths or showers, heat packs? Those are some of my ideas.
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Hi Jenztrenz, I have a friend who is going through a similar situation. In her case her aging husband was abusing Tylenol with codeine. She replaced them with like-looking over the counter Tylenol. She did this slowly to wean him, without his knowledge. You could check with her doc to see if there is a safe way to try this method?
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you could get a locked cabinet for the meds or if there are some that your mom must take daily, you can get a machine that dispenses the drugs she is to take at a particular time, they even have an alarm that beeps when needed. If the behavior concerns you enough, you may need to call her doctor and she may need some time in rehab for the addiction.
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Can you contact her insurance company and request a Case Manager?
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