What to Do When You’ve Run Out of Options
You stand in the doorway of your son’s dark bedroom. You watch him stare at the blank wall. There are dark circles underneath his eyes. His skin is pale and slimy. Your son looks tired and broken. He just threw up for the fourth time today, and it’s only eleven o’clock in the morning.
Discouraged, you walk to the trashcan by your son’s nightstand and pick up the wastebasket. Your son doesn’t say a word to you. He just eyes the wall like there’s something there while he shakes underneath his covers. Your son’s body is curled into a tight ball even though it’s springtime and 73 degrees outside and in your home.
You touch your son’s shoulder, trying to comfort and encourage him, but your son flinches at your touch and pulls away from you. He screams for you to get out of his room, forcing you to scurry back to the doorway.
You bring a hand to your mouth as you try to swallow down your tears and the pain that you feel. You know your son isn’t usually like this: angry, depressed, nauseous, and gripped with cold sweats. It’s the lack of pills that are making your son unstable.
Three days ago, he told you that he didn’t want to take hydrocodone for his back pain anymore. Your son has never liked his medications, each one containing a higher dosage than you think is necessary. Every day, your son complains about his prescription, claiming it decreases his quality of life, so you supported his decision to go cold turkey.
Little did you know the side effects of this decision would be so detrimental. Your son throws up all the time now. He has diarrhea every hour. He doesn’t leave his room, and he can’t stop his cold sweats. Your son is either angry or depressed every second of the day, and there is no middle ground.
The road to addiction
Shaking your head, you wonder why you didn’t see this coming. You should’ve known your son would experience these terrible side effects. Your son has been on hydrocodone for more than three months. He can’t just go cold turkey. You should know that more than anyone. Your husband struggled with the same problem.
After experiencing an accident at work, your husband was prescribed codeine-based medication to help with the pain in his hand. He took the medication for five months, and when the doctor stopped prescribing it, your husband couldn’t handle the side effects.
All day and night, the mental and physical pain weighed on him. Your husband couldn’t go to work, leave the house, or even walk around. Within four days of leaving the doctor’s office empty-handed, your husband looked for relief and found it elsewhere: heroin.
Similar side effects
At first, you didn’t know your husband was using the illegal drug. You just knew your husband needed pain relief, and he told you that he was visiting different doctors for help. But as time went on, your husband said he needed more of the medicine he was taking to get the same effect, but he complained about the costly price tag of his remedy, so your husband began to steal.
After noticing all the money pouring out of your checking account and following your husband to his “doctor’s appointment,” you found out that he was using heroin. A couple of months later, your husband lost his job, was in and out of the house, and became unreliable and unhealthy to be around.
It took eight years for you to convince your husband to check into a rehabilitation center. And the side effects your husband first experienced after quitting heroin are the same ones that your son is facing now.
How were you supposed to know that heroin and hydrocodone could lead to the same side effects once someone stopped taking them? That information isn’t common knowledge, and you hate yourself for not learning it sooner.
How to increase your quality of life
The next day, your son says he’s back on hydrocodone. He tells you he’d rather take the medication than experience the painful side effects of its absence. You shake your head, understanding your son’s decision, but you worry about your son’s inability to detach from the hydrocodone.
Your son can’t rely on the pain medication forever. Eventually, the doctor will stop prescribing it, and you don’t want your son to look for the same relief that your husband did. Knowing you need to find a solution, some way to wean your son off of hydrocodone, you remember the CBD oil in your room.
What if you replace one of your son’s hydrocodone dosages with CBD? Your son has to take his pain medication day and night, but maybe he can take CBD sometimes instead. You’re not sure if it will help, but you enjoy your CBD — it’s increased your quality of life. Maybe it will do the same for your son.
You ask your son if he’d be open to your idea, and he tells you that he’s willing to try it. So, that night, you give your son a few drops of your CBD oil instead of his hydrocodone. The next morning, you ask how he slept, and thankfully, your son tells you that he slept fine.
The transition to organic, natural remedies
More optimistic than usual, you decide to continue giving your son CBD at night. For two weeks straight, your son expresses nothing but positive things, so you suggest another step: replace the hydrocodone that your son takes in the morning with something else.
You and your son talk about a few different options, like Tylenol and Motrin. But after assessing each idea, your son tells you that he’d prefer to stick with the CBD.
Your son says his nightly CBD dosage has already increased his quality of life. If he takes it in the morning as well, he might see even more improvement. You agree with your son’s rational and start to give him CBD in the morning and nighttime.
As the weeks unfold, you quickly notice your son’s quality of life is getting better. Your son even smiles when he reaches for his CBD oil instead of his hydrocodone, and it only takes a month of using CBD for your son to throw away his old medication.
When you see the hydrocodone in the trashcan in your son’s bathroom, you smile, excited to know your son is living a life that he’s happy with. You know it wasn’t easy for him to get to a place of peace, and your son could’ve very well ended up in the same situation as your husband did.
But you’re glad to know your son avoided a path that he might regret. Now, he can live a full, healthy life and enjoy every moment of it.