What to do with my Mom who's zonked out on drugs all the time? - AgingCare.com

What to do with my Mom who's zonked out on drugs all the time?

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I have talked to the doctor numerous times about drug interactions. Everytime I talk to her , I can't even understand her! She's OCD with cleaning the house till she is exhausted. Dad tries to help her and she is like a viper to him. He is ready to just walk away. When she had her heart attack last July and then physical therapy at home for a month she was her normal self for about the first time in 10 years. She had crushed vertebrae in her back 10 years ago and they put her on Oxycontin which was her downfall. She is 79. She is supposed to take 2 in the morning when she gets up and go back to bed, but NOOOO she has to stay up and clean the whole house like a nut job while my dad sleeps. he doesn't get up until 11. he finds her laying on the kitchen floor or in the cat room naked with cat litter everywhere. He is at his wits end. he can't afford to put her in a home. I live 300 miles away. I can't even talk to her, she is so out of it. I have gone to her doctor visits, where she falls asleep. She falls asleep while she is eating. I blame that d**n doctor for all of this. I have to tall him about her thyroid medication maybe being off or he forgets to check in the blood work. I don't know who to turn to for help or who my dad can call. Any suggestions? I've tried to get him to take her to another doctor but he is afraid to become a new patient somewhere and then get dropped.

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Thank you so much everyone. Hearing your stories somehow makes me feel better I am not alone.
This all started same way, 10 years again for the crushed veterbrae in her back. She also takes Prozac for depression and supposedly for the OCD and sleeping pills. Since I last posted this I talked Dad into cutting her meds in have , just 1-40 mg Oxycontin when she gets up instead of 2 and 1 sleeping pill at bed instead of 2. She had a good day and didn't snap his head off.
I agree about the doctor's being pill pushers. I don't think she in as much pain as she lets on and she wouldn't be in any pain probably if she wouldn't overdo it! Dad does enable her, I try to explain all this to him, but he is lazy and just gives up too easily. She also is on Thyroid medication which really needs to monitored closely because that can make you sleep a lot.
The only physical therapy was last July for a month after her heart attack. Visiting nurses came twice a week and a physical therapist came twice a week and did back exercises with her. That was the best she sounded in 10 years...but it didn't last .I tried to call her doctor this morning to talk about some things not thinking it was Good Friday,. They are out till Monday.
I am going to see about keep weaning her off the pain pills and maybe a pain management clinic. dad says she wouldn't go which is why I want to talk to her doctor. I keep telling Dad a new doctor ( a fresh set of eyes) would be the way to go, but he is either too afraid to change doctors or the lazy factor.
I just want my mother back, not the rambling person on the other end of the phone that I can't even understand, and I want to help my dad . He is so ready to give up. I am afraid he is just going to snap from the pressure of taking care of her. I think I am taking steps in the right direction.
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Revise: If Dad will not take her to another doctor, it is time to request a social worker's advice.
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Is Mom doing any physical therapy for her pain? Sometimes Medicare can cover for help in a rehab center although time deadline are a consideration. The less medication she is on, the better for her functioning and to avoid falling and re-injuring herself. If Dad will help take her to another doctor, it is time for a social worker's advice.
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Consider mental health medications for both the OCD and the pain issues. Some of the SSRI medications will deminish both, and improve sleep. Be sure the prescriber is using less the the general amount, as your mother is old and may not process the medications as quickly as a younger person. Be aware that she will also be detoxing off another medication. It generally takes 4-6 weeks to see the end result of a medication like the SSRIs, it may take longer for your mom. Also be aware that the start up of a mental health medication my have the exact symptoms that you are trying to decrease temporarily increase. Don't freak out, these should lessen gradually over 2-3 weeks.

Also, I have a weird reaction to some pain meds (some morphine don't work, codeine does work but the second pill started to increase my activity mentally.) It could be why your mom is up late cleaning til she drops.

Good luck with your search for a solution. Keep in mind that your Dad needs to be in and participating in the plan. She may need a placement to detox and change meds that will also monitor your Dad's "contributions".
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I am going through a similar situation with my 72 year old mother. She has been on morphine (60mg 4 times per day) for back and hip pain for many years. She also takes muscle relaxers, xanax, sleeping pills and a medication for depression. She crushes the morphine pills and takes all 4 at once. Towards the last week of the prescription, she will come up short and beg my dad for a few of his pills to tie her over until she can get the new prescription filled. She also abuses the xanax as well. Long story short, her pain mgmnt Dr. cut her back to 30mg 3 times per day. She continued to take the full dosage she was getting and ran out of pills early. She went back to her Pain Mgmnt Dr. to explain that she needed the prior dosage due to pain so he gave her 90 30mg tables to last for 30 days and told her not to come back - he dismissed her. I found out yesterday that she took all of the pills in 9 days - averaging 10 per day.

I could not find another Pain Mgmnt Dr. to take her (a blessing). Today, her primary suggested a medical detox center to help her with withdrawls and then work with Pain Mgmnt afterwards. Today was the first day she went through withdrawls which my dad said was really bad. She agreed to let my dad take her to the detox facility as she realized that she can no longer get this medication. The intake coordinator told me that people with chronic pain can be prescribed a medication that will help with pain but is not addictive. It will be a long road for my mom...

It's interesting that you mentioned your mom was cleaning the house like that. My dad said that my mom was staying up until 3:00am cleaning like that!

My mothers drug abuse has been going on for many years. My father is an enabler so that has not helped the situation. I have called her doctors so many times to tell them what is going on but they still prescribed! Her primary ordered home health to come out and review the meds with her. The nurse was so concerned that she got the auth from the Dr. to call 911 to take her to the hospital because she had bruises on her (she has many falls). The nurse thought that maybe mom would agree to go to a nursing home temporarily to take the meds as prescribed so she could think more clearly. She was considering it but my father talked her out of it!

In Feb, my mom fell and broke her elbow in three places. She had surgery then went to a skilled nursing facility for rehab. The Dr. treating her there reduced her morphine significantly. My father brought her pain meds from home so she was supplimenting!

Good luck with your mom.
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I thought of that. Her doctor doesn't think she has a problem!
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Please don't expect anything to change when she won't change herself. Even the doctor can't repair an addictive personality. I don't know if it is possible to detox someone at 79, but it wouldn't hurt to ask the MD to at least refer her to a pain management specialist.
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