2009 Shows

Dr. Phil delves into the anatomy of addiction with two families on the verge of losing it all. Rigo was a police sergeant in charge of keeping crime off the streets, but at home he was taking up to 2,000 pain pills a month. He says his addiction caused him to lose everything he loved including his job and his family. Now he fears he’ll lose his beautiful home and his marriage too. Rigo says he’s been sober for seven weeks, but his wife of seven years, Robin, is doubtful. She says she’s seen him get sober and relapse so many times, if his current sobriety doesn’t stick, she will divorce him. Is Rigo doing everything he can to stay clean? Then, Chuck is an unemployed therapist due to his alcohol addiction. He says he’s had so many DUIs and spent so much time in jail, he can’t keep track anymore. He says he quit the bottle 90 days ago, but his wife of two years, Janet, calls him a habitual relapser. Is divorce in their future? If you think a loved one may be struggling with an addiction, or if you suspect your child is experimenting with drugs or alcohol, don’t miss this show! Learn the no-holds-barred truth about addiction, rehabilitation and sobriety, what to look for, and the cutting-edge medication and treatment that helps addicts get sober and stay sober. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: suedeblueyes on Sep 21, 2012, 6:45PM - In reply to chickiechick
Chickie, You have already started the process by acknowledging the fact that you WANT to do something finally about your addiction.   I don't have the perfect answer, but I have suggestions.  This is how I went through withdrawal that we are all afraid of:  I told my doctor(s) that I was addicted and wanted to get off of the pain meds for my family and my LIFE.  So, basically, you have to tell on yourself.  In addition, I told the one doctor that I knew would do anything for me, that I was going to withdraw at home because I couldn't afford a medical detox, so to just prescribe me what they would give me at the hospital and he did.  Then you have a heart to heart with your husband and tell him what you are doing and for him to check in on you and take care of the kids ALL weekend while you handle your business.  This is what my old doctor prescribed and for what:  propranolol 20 mgs, as needed for restless legs (which are the WORST and make you want to be in anyone else's body besides your own.  This was the worst WD symptom for me)  which is some kind of "heart medication", as needed, but no more than 3x a day.  Clonidine HCL 0.1 mgs - one at night - also another "heart medication" but will assist you in your WDs.  Alprazolam (xanax) up to 2mgs every eight hours.  These will help you "sleep through" some of your WD.  Tramadol, or "Ultram"-a non-narcotic pain reliever of which I would take 3 at a time.  He prescribed 2 every 6 hours, but that wasn't good enough for me.  Any more than 3 does not do anything for you, not like a regular pain pill.  You cannot get "high" from them.  I am still on them for legitimate multiple pain problems.  If you have the tendency to puke when you don't have your regular pain pills, I would suggest an anti-neausa pill that your doctor should prescribe.  Other than that, I would get horrible stomache cramps and diarreah.  I wouldn't neccessarily take something for it, as I think that is part of the natural detoxification of your body, which is what you WANT to start out with and stopping it by taking Immodium AD (OTC) might draw out the WD process a little longer I'm thinking - something you don't want to do because of work.  Lots of Gatorade to replace your electrolytes from puking and diarreah.  Bottled water.  Saltines and chicken noodle soup - canned progresso is perfectly fine, if you even feel hungry.  It is OK not to eat, though, as fasting is also fine for a day or two.  But you MUST take your liquids. 7up for your tummy.  Start as soon as you get off work on Friday and you may call in sick with "the flu" for Monday and probably Tuesday.  I thought withdrawal would take 5-7 days, like the hospital detox told me, but they also love to collect the $2,000 per day.  My physical withdrawal was about 3 days TOTAL.  I was taking up to 34 norcos a day for about 3 years straight.  I don't know what you are taking, what your age is, or what other medications you are taking, if any, but this is how to get over the "hump" of getting off the opiates.  At least this was the formula for me.  After that, you will probably be depressed, possibly unmotivated so you need a support group, wether that's close friend(s) or your family, maybe even NA.  I need to remind you that I am not a doctor, this was just MY experience and suggestions.  Something to talk to your doctor about, though.  With heart medication involved, this is very important.  One of my friends was in a similiar predicament.  She now takes Wellbutrin for the depression. 150 mgs a day, twice a day.  She said it has helped her immensely.  I was on wellbutrin for about 2-3 months after my parents passed, but they did nothing for me, Then again I was taking the lowest dose, 50 mgs a day and I was in a "normal" depression.  This was way back when I was still using.  She said they fill the Dopamine receptors rather than the seratonin, satisfying your dopamine deprived brain.  I have yet to request them from my doctor, but plan to.  My body never accepted other anti-depressants well.  However, staying busy is also a good way of staying clean, and you have a job and a busy life so you have a good shot.  Best of luck to you and I hope my suggestions help.  Most of all, have positive thoughts and remind yourself that you will soon be opiate free and will be mentally present for your family.  It is really hard at first but once your emotions come rushing back you will laugh like you never have before and cry as well.  :)
Replied By: suedeblueyes on Sep 21, 2012, 4:50PM - In reply to gayle16
I started taking norco prescribed by a legitimate, empathetic medical doctor for the pain associated with multiple back problems (spondylosis, arthritis of the spine and fibromyalgia).  However, she prescribed me up to 12 norcos per day.  That's how it all started.  However, I had the added grief of recently losing both my parents when I was 30 and they were only 57.  Not only does the pill take away physical pain, but emotional pain, as well; albeit through a "mask".  I was very naiive and did not know of the danger of my body becoming physically addicted.  I am VERY sorry that you have cancer.  I lost my best friend in the whole world to her battle with lung cancer when she was only 37, three years ago.  And just learned that my other very good friend, who's like family to me, at 35 years old found out she has breast cancer about two weeks ago.  When you win your fight, and I genuinely hope you do, you are going to be faced with another battle: the battle of getting off the biologically addicting painkiller(s) you are on.  Only then will you regret seperating yourself out of the "pack"  by the offensive post.  It is not a moral issue.  Do you think these "other people" WANT to depend on pills to get through the day?  When I woke up and figured out the pain I was causing my family, I put myself through withdrawal which makes you feel like you are dying.  I've heard from others that withdrawing feels like having the flu.  It doesn't .  MUCH worse with different symptoms.  Luckily I was finally prescribed a non-narcotic pill, called Ultram, or Tramadol, which helps me manage my pain.  Only problem is now, it takes over a year for your brain to heal so that you can actually not feel depressed, and start feeling motivated again.   I wish you the best. 
Replied By: sharihice on Jun 22, 2011, 4:14AM
I just watched a re-run on the show regarding Rigo and his wife.  He was detoxing from taking 2,000 pills a month.  When Rigo and his wife tried to explain that Suboxone was not for him they were quickly quieted by the doctor and Dr. Phil.   I really fear the use of Suboxone is over-used and people are kept on it far too long to avoid the pain of becoming truly clean, which in my opinion is the only way to regain good mental health.  It just takes time.  IT CAN BE DONE!  Many people believe the makers of Suboxone are in the pockets of the doctors and after listening to a couple doctors, including the one on Dr. Phil, I can't help but wonder about this myself.  I cannot believe they are not helping people get truly clean!  What they need to realize that Suboxone is not for everyone and that SUBOXONE IS AN OPIATE even if it is not a full atagonist.  I understand it is good from some but for me it caused severe depression (suicidal - was never that way before) and yes, just like Rigo, I wanted more and more - so I had the same problem as before.  I was not opiate free.  As my doctor explained, getting off opiates is never a free lunch and you have to go through the pain of detox as well as the other things one must do to remain clean.  If you are on Suboxone you are not clean of opiates, which was not my goal.  Today I am opiate free and have my normal life back.  I wish this for everyone. 
Replied By: di4864 on Jul 13, 2009, 12:50PM - In reply to pamb22
I know you probably will not ever read this as much time has gone by since you posted your message, but I feel compelled to reply.  I am 45 years old and am battling a serious addiction to pain meds as well.  I hear the sorrow in your message which reminds me of my mom, who has been gone for 5 years.  I must tell you that your message inspires me to remain clean!!  I too, have two children and they are a huge reason for my decision.  I am so very sorry about your daughter and I pray you find peace.  Another thing that struck me was the fact that you tried to get help for her.  It is very hard to admit to an addiction and I thought that would be harder than finding the help...I was way wrong.  It took me at least 25 phone calls before a accidentally found "my answer"-suboxone.    I hope time has healed some wounds as I know it cannot mend your heart-I will pray for you...Di
Replied By: di4864 on Jul 13, 2009, 12:19PM - In reply to gayle16
Number one, it was 2000 pills a month, not a day.  You must not understand what a physical addiction is!!  While I am truly sorry about your disease, has your experience taught you anything about human behavior??  Cancer has been very prevalent in my family so I understand the anger but how dare you judge this poor man.  Should he appologize to you for giving "you legit pill takers a bad rap"?  Your label, "pill popper" (as referring to people with an addiction) is a very mean one and I hope he did not read your message.  Do you feel any compassion?  I pray that you'll never have to deal with addiction whether it is you or a family member - God help you if you do - you should not judge others until you have walked in their shoes
Replied By: taylor47 on May 19, 2009, 3:02PM - In reply to snowdoll
I have my life back. What has worked for me is Suboxone, a therapist I trust, a support group, and a supportive family.
Replied By: taylor47 on May 19, 2009, 2:54PM - In reply to onegratefulgrl
I felt compelled to respond to your post. I have to say Suboxone has saved my life, I have my life back. I will take it until something better is developed. Due to medical conditions, I have been addicted to pain medication since 1983. I am also bipolar, type 1 disorder.
I have been a member of AA since 1986, I have done everything I am supposed to according to "them". I was never forced to attend I went of my own free will. I have been in over 22 rehab/psych wards. I am not proud of that it is just a fact. I was losing all hope, then I found Suboxone. The Suboxone, along with a therapist, and meetings have allowed me to live addiction free since March 16 of this year. I am very grateful.
I also know that in the Big Book, it says that some of us may need outside help.
Replied By: sograteful13 on May 19, 2009, 9:16AM - In reply to dirtlifter3
Sounds like you have already asked for forgiveness, STOP beating yourself up.  HE FORGAVE YOU WHEN YOU FIRST ASKED!!!  If others cannot forgive you after you have apologized, then that is something that they carry NOT YOU!!!  As long as you continue to do what is RIGHT (ALWAYS).  You can beat this!!!!   Not alone, but with support and consistant faith!!! 

I was asked after I was drug free for years," How Did YOU quit"....My answer is " It wasn't me it was GOD.  I know if you have FATIH, you hear him tell you, " You can" It is the other Realm (Evil) that keeps getting between you and sobriety.  And if you are a GOOD person, (which it sounds like you are) that helps others and actually wants to be Kind, Loving, Helpful, Compassionate, etc...... You will be attacked even more.  Just like me, GOD needs you to do his work, he needs you to get SOBER and tell your story, HE needs you to give HOPE to others who suffer.  There is HOPE....., go to a Rehab, and STAY more that 30 days, 3 to 6 or 9 months!!!!!!!  Take yourself out of what you have been living.  You need time to learn all over, how to live again.  You need TOOLS to help you stay SOBER!!!  You can't do it alone....Reach out .....and LIVE again!!!  You are IMPORTANT, and you do MATTER.  Keep busy at constructive things, help others, volunteer,  ....baby steps....  It's HARD work, it is draining at times, but it is so worth it.   I pray for your sobriety, WE need you!!!!
Replied By: taylor47 on May 19, 2009, 3:14AM
I too suffered from a horrible addiction to prescription pain medication. I am happy to report that today, my addiction is in remission. Thanks to the wonderful medication Suboxone, along with therapy, and support groups. In my opinion, Suboxone, is a wonderful tool to help opiate addicts start on the path to recovery. Thank you Dr. Phil, for talking about it on your show.
Replied By: peanuts09 on May 15, 2009, 11:09AM - In reply to pamb22
I agree. My son was adictted to suboxone and then was selling it to get the real stuff. Suboxone is for use in a rehab, not on the street....
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