View Full Version : What can I do?

January 26th, 2018, 12:25 PM
What can I do for a friend who is so over medicated. She can not think clearly, sleeps through her alarm and phone, forgets she needs to go to work or go to Dr. appts. She sees so many Drs and researches "symptoms" she is experiencing on line then manages to find a Dr. that will confirm this and give her even more meds. She needs help but since I am not in the medical field and she is she will take no advice from me, just looks at me like I am totally stupid or blows up.
Has anyone had to deal with this and/or have advice for me?

Georgie Girl
January 26th, 2018, 12:31 PM
Oh Beth I wish I did have advise for you. What a dear friend you are. I'm sure someone here will help you. In the meantime I will pray for your friend that she sees what a good friend you are and will get help.

January 26th, 2018, 12:32 PM
is there any way you can get to her pills and make a list of what she is taking and how much? If so, make an appointment for you with her current doctor and discuss your concerns with them. they of course can't discuss her treatments with you but they can listen to your concerns and take action. I had to do this with my mother. It wasn't easy and she was REALLY mad but it may have saved her life. When she was out of her funk she understood why I did it and quit being mad.

Patty J
January 26th, 2018, 12:57 PM
I wish I had a good idea for you, but this describes my sister to a "T" Our family has tried to help her for years, but each time we take a positive step we lose ground backwards. Right now she is so mad at me just because I asked for a list of the meds she takes from all of her doctors. She is old enough (64) to take care of her own business, but if something happens we wouldn't even know what drugs she takes. When she used to visit me she would take a handful of pills out of her pocket and pop a few in her mouth. This scared me to death, what if the grandkids saw her do this and wanted to investigate? I told her to put those pills in a container or don't come over, she didn't come over. Wishing you luck with this issue, hoping you are more successful than I am.

January 26th, 2018, 01:54 PM
My mother is 82 and has been "sick" & two minutes from dying for as long as I can remember. My sister who is 61 is the same way. They both run from doctor to doctor & are angry when the doctor doesn't co-operate with them. Long ago I tried to reason with them but realized I can not help them. They truly & sincerely think they have a different illness each week.

Your friends reality is that something is wrong & you can't change her mind. She probably won't seek professional help because to her it's a physical issue not a mental issue.

DH comes from a family of alcohol & drug addiction. His comment after he read this is "some people just like being on something".
I guess opinions come from life experiences & mine & his life experience is vastly different.

She is lucky to have a friend like you who truly cares.

January 26th, 2018, 02:08 PM
I like the idea of getting a list of meds and dosage but I would go to her family (primary) doctor and show him the list and tell him how she is acting, hopefully he is a good doc and will do something about it.

Carlie Wolf
January 26th, 2018, 02:41 PM
I don't know that there is anything that you can do. I'm probably not the best one to offer advice as it's a major pet peeve of mine. I do feel that many people do over medicate more and more each year. Many of these medications don't play nice together and often seem to cause other "symptoms" as side effects. Then the doctors just prescribe something for those "symptoms" and the list goes on and on. Very sad, IMO.

About 6 months ago I stopped by to a neighbor "friend" (yes I did mention her recently in another thread) and she was standing in her kitchen with a far out stare, could not remember what she was saying from one sentence to another (literally), if she moved around she got upset because she could not remember why she moved or where she was going. She continually talked about being distressed that she had Alsheimers (something her sister has and she is terrified of). I was aghast at the truly terrible state she was in and it was downright scary. She would then mention that she had to go someplace in her car. Yes, I did nix that on no uncertain terms.

She had within the last two months switched doctors and the new dr was taking her off all her meds (yes and she takes many). Some I suspect she needs and others not. We're talking at least 13 meds some several times a day. She does not get along with her new doctor and from what she had told me I wouldn't go near that doctor if my life depended on it. Her main concern in the state she was in was that she had the alsheimers though. I attempted to talk to her about how her symptoms were occurring since she was taken off all her meds and she had shown NO signs of alsheimers previous to this and that the disease does not occur with a rapid downslide they she is displaying. Because she was so scared at this point I was able to have her show me her meds and what each was for. I wrote it down and when I went home I researched the side effects on each one and the indications if there is rapid withdrawal from them. (While I was there her other "best friend" had come, Idiscussed it with her and left her with the women. Frankly I found it all too distressing and at this stage I thought the other friend was the better one to sit with her to assure she did not get in her car). The next day she appeared a little better so I discussed with her the drugs and counter indications and also discussed with her the benefits of perhaps changing doctors. Turned out she had heard about the one I go to that I do have some confidence in. He tends to recommend various life style changes as oppose to every drug that is the current fad. He never would have taken her off so many drugs so rapidly.

At any rate she is ok now, granted there I some drugs she does need but a lot of the odd symptoms have stopped.

btw, my sister who is a nurse is also in this category. I recall her taking every drug that came down the pike early on. She's 71 now and is in poor health mostly displaying a lot of the symptoms that were listed in some of those new (at the time) fad drugs. Her skin literally will separate with some injuries and after repeated tests the doctors are unsure why. Awful.

January 26th, 2018, 02:44 PM
Thanks for all the input. I have no idea what she takes and have no way of finding out, she carries around her pill box with all her things sorted by day and time of day. One day she came to pick me up and on the floor of her car was literally a carpet of pills, she told me to just kick them aside-she spilled her pill box and would take care of it when she got a chance, they stayed there for a couple weeks until I got a quart size zipper bag and put all the pills in-it filled up the bag! We do have one Dr. in common, our primary but she has said that since I am not a relative, I can do nothing-not sure if Dr. is looking into it but I imagine she did what she could.
From here I guess I need to just be there for her and pray she comes around.

January 26th, 2018, 06:17 PM
My sister-in-law is addicted to pills and was a nurse AND has been through this once before. She stole some pills from me at New Years.

January 26th, 2018, 09:36 PM
If she has immediate family members they need to know what is going on. Good luck and she is fortunate to have you as a friend.

January 26th, 2018, 09:50 PM
I am surprised that she still has a job and wonder if her employers have tried to talk to her?

grandma nurse
January 27th, 2018, 01:24 AM
Since she has more then one doctor, I suspect that she doesn’t give full disclosure to all of them as to what medication each is giving her. She may be getting double doses from different doctors.

January 27th, 2018, 02:27 AM
I hate to hear this about your friend. My DSD has this issue. She is addicted to a couple of medications, and if she doesn't like what one doctor says, she goes to another one. Her biological mother is an enabler, and helps feed in to her hypochondria. As much as you want to help her, there really isn't much you can do, other than be her friend...give an ear to listen, and shoulder to cry on.
Sometimes I think people in the medical field are even more susceptible, because they 'know; it all, and it could not possible happen to them. Sending hugs and prayers your way. If I happen to know her, give her a hug from me too.

January 27th, 2018, 04:10 PM
Do you know if she uses more than one pharmacy? If you could get a list of all of her rx's and give to all of the pharmacies she uses. I don't know if it would help, but at lest someone in medical field would have a complete list. Pharmacy's are good at notifying both Drs and patient if meds work against each other.

January 27th, 2018, 09:29 PM
I though the medical industry changed their laws and pharmacy info is out there and they are not supposed to double dose? Find out her dr name. Sounds like he is a pill pusher. Turn him into the state.....turn all the docs in. The system is supposed to prevent this. It sounds like....hypochondriacs wanting attention, because no one else gives them what they need. My ex husband had issues with opiates. That is why he is my ex. There was something he always wanted, too fill some void. But his mind could not figure out the void. His habit cost him his job, his house, his wife. Sounds like your friend needs an intervention.
But if you intervene, you will have so much drama and will have to be strong enough for her. There is really nothing you can do for her. She has to come to terms with herself. Does she have an enabler? That person needs to be out of her life, if there is an enabler. I dealt with my exs probelem for more than 10 years. It was almost impossible to put food on the table. His habit was costing me $1000 per week. All hidden from me

January 27th, 2018, 10:15 PM
Do not be an enabler. Your friendship is only valuable to you...not her. Unless she initiates help, she will not take kindly to it. Visit if you must, but truly, you can just step aside and pray.

January 28th, 2018, 10:41 AM
I would try contacting her family.

January 28th, 2018, 01:12 PM
You are a wonderful friend to get involved in this drug war, because that's v what it is. I would attempt to ask a pharmacist at one of the drug stores that she uses what's the best way to approach this. I bet they deal with this all the time, maybe they can network each other and see what all she is taking and notify the primary care doctor.

With all the opiate problems in this country that have been on the news constantly I thought that doctors and pharmacists were going to start cutting back on opioid prescriptions. My dh had surgery in December and doc prescribed oxycodone for him. He was still in the recovery room when I got handed the prescription to fill. I said wait, we have a whole bottle of this at home from a surgery in July, can't he just take that? The dr said no he should get some fresh. So I got it filled and neither the dr or pharmacist warned about it's addictive qualities and not to take more than absolutely necessary. So now we have a second bottle of 40 pills. My dh said NO I am not taking even one of those and instead got by with ex strength Tylenol.

Snip Snip
January 28th, 2018, 10:59 PM
I doubt if the pharmacy would talk to you about her. The confidentiality laws may extend to pharmacies too...not sure. And she may use more than one pharmacy and/or doctor. But the doctor certainly should not talk to you (even though you are a concerned friend)
Like others have said, if you know of a family member, you could talk to them.

I hear that my son in law's mother is abusing pain killers, too. But that is really not my business to act upon. It's so very common now.

January 29th, 2018, 12:17 PM
Good advice from others who have experience with this common problem, it's one that's difficult to solve. Only advice I have for everyone is to carry a list of your meds., you never know when you might need it. I carry one because each time I go to a medical appointment the RN or Dr. goes over my current meds. and who prescribed them but then I'm honest about what I'm taking and your friend most likely isn't.

January 29th, 2018, 12:24 PM
It sounds like an intervention is needed. Does she have family you can contact?
A well prepared intervention can be a life saving event.

January 29th, 2018, 12:32 PM
I've read all the posts and while there is good advise here it all boils down to nothing. Nothing you can do for her. For your own mental health and safety you might want to consider backing away from the whole situation. I know this sounds hard and you might feel that is not what a friend would do but it is when the friend has done all she can. Prayer is the best you can do for her.