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TrentLucy

Parkinson's patient abusing pain meds?

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This is a report from the Open Forum.  It was suggested I post it here.  All feedback greatly appreciated.

My family is seriously concerned in regards to over prescribing, as well as the misuse of drugs with our mother.  This has been a growing concern which has become more clear over the past few weeks.  She was diagnosed with Parkinson's over a decade ago and has several doctors: primary physician, neurologists, psychiatrists, to name a few.  All prescribe her meds and there is very little communication, if any, between them.  Along with the necessary Parkinson's meds, she takes clonazepam for anxiety and has been prescribed various pain killers (Tylenol 3, hydrocodone, perhaps others) over the years (for falls with broken bones and arthritis related pain). 

For the past year we have been advocating with our father (primary care giver) that a hospitalization would be helpful in allowing the professionals to have a comprehensive idea of what meds she needs, in what dosages, and at what times.  He has been resistant to this because she has been - she claims she has her meds completely under control.  Our father continues to allow her to administer meds herself as a way of preserving her dignity - it's one of the only things she can do independently at this stage.  That being said, she is living a tortured existence: unhappy, paralyzed with anxiety, and plagued with health incidents that keep her a frequent flyer to doctor offices and emergency rooms. 

recently, after several unusual incidents (slurred speech, confusion, passing out) our concerns increased.  In the past two weeks several of my siblings have spent prolonged periods of time with my mom and we have suspicions that she is abusing pain meds.  We think she is secretly and regularly taking them, we believe she has stashes hidden; we've noticed out-of-it behavior that she attributes to Parkinson's and blood pressure problems but we wonder if it is an indication she has "popped some pills."  We have confronted her about our concerns and she has become very combative and nasty.  We have tried sharing these concerns with our father but he doesn't believe them - or doesn't want to.  He has been her caregiver 24/7 for the past 2 years and we wonder if he is (subconsciously) going the peace-at-any-price route.

Help.  How should we proceed?  I'm feel a long term hospitalization to get all her meds in order is the only way we can determine and treat all that is wrong with my mom.  If so, how do we go about making that happen?  What facilities can you recommend for quality treatment that could address all of her issues.

Thank you in advance for your response and advice.  I truly believe that we do next can save her life.

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