Message Boards

Topic : 04/14 An Addict in the Family

Number of Replies: 57
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Thursday, January 08, 2009, 05:04:27 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 01/12/09) While battling cancer, Paula says she missed the signs that her 21-year-old daughter, C.J., was disconnecting from the family and turning to drugs to heal her anguish. After Paula’s husband, Jim, had an affair, the signs of trouble with their daughter became clearer. Since then, the family has done everything, including rehab, counseling and tough love, but nothing has kept C.J. drug free. Now C.J. ingests combinations of 13 prescription and street drugs, and is on the edge of killing herself. Anthony, her brother, is fed up and says she is ruining their family. Can they survive the constant turmoil? And is C.J. ready to get clean? Next, one of the heroin twins returns to Dr Phil to celebrate one year of sobriety and share her difficult road to recovery. Plus, emergency room physician and host of The Doctors Dr. Travis Stork says that he rarely spends a night in the E.R. without seeing a victim of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. Find out the most common mistakes people make and the questions you should ask yourself before you take a pill. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

April 14, 2009, 2:06 pm CDT


I would love to know how CJ is doing now. This originally aired in January and would love an update.
April 14, 2009, 2:21 pm CDT







April 14, 2009, 2:37 pm CDT

your logo is my symbol

I didn't appreciate addicts being referred to as stupid and ridiculous.  Most addicts I know are very intelligent people.  The girl on the show is not stupid and ridiculous, she is sick.  All addicts are sick, what else could describe a condition that drives a person to the source of their obvious destruction over and over again.  ADDICTION IS A DISEASE, NOT A MORAL DEFFICIENCY! IT'S NOT A MATTER OF INTELLECT. Your logo reflects the symbol of the God given program that has saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of drug-free, responsible, and productive recovering addicts all over the world.  We are not stupid or ridiculous.  We weren't then, we aren't now. 
April 14, 2009, 2:57 pm CDT

4/14 Addict in the family

I am a big fan of Dr. Phil but I can't stand the way you talk to drug addicts.  I think they take it because they want  the help so badly and they know that you are probably the only way they'll get it. For that I am very greatful to you but I think that if you treated them differenly a lot more drug addicts would respond and ask for help.  I've noticed over the years that this is the only "group" that you treat this way.  It is a disease and so I've never been sure why you treat them so harshly.  I think you have never walked in their shoes and becasue of your alcholic father you think they deserve it as if they have control over it...
April 14, 2009, 3:50 pm CDT

A Warning from a Mother that's been there

It seems every few months, I post a message someplace when I see this topic of kids and prescription drug abuse rear it's ugly head.  The reason is I've been there, and done it as the mother of a 14 year old boy that overdosed on methadone.  Believe me when I tell you it was the worst 18 hours of my life, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.


Since that day almost 2 1/2 years ago, I've learned so much.  I testified to a provincial task force on methadone back in January of 2007, just six weeks after my son's overdose, in an effort to convince the government of Ontario that they needed to action on "diverted carries" and the illicit methadone trade in Ontario.  I helped convince them to put a recommendation in place that has yet to be acted upon. 


What I wanted to share today is what every parent should know, but most likely doesn't about prescription drug abuse.  I learned these lessons the hard way, and I hope other parents won't have to.  Saying "Not my kid." is just a way to deny reality, because I was convinced it would never happen to my son.  It's sad to see how wrong I was.


1.  Teach your children that abusing prescription medication is the same as using illicit drugs like crystal meth or crack cocaine.  Since kids are given prescription medication and see their parents take it, they assume it's not harmful or addictive to abuse these drugs.


2.  Make it a rule to never go into your medicine cabinet or put a lock on it.  Keep an inventory of what drugs you have in there.  These days kids can steal almost any drug from Gravol to Cough Syrup and sell it at school to another child.  This happens in Elementary schools, Highschools and playgrounds in parks.  Do not assume it's not happening where your kids go to school, because you'd be tragically wrong.


3.  Monitor what your kids are doing online.  Don't let them have access to your credit card or their own.  If you think I'm kidding, try doing a google search for "purchase methadone" and then see how many websites you can order methadone from without a prescription or doctor's visit.  After my son's overdose, it was somewhere around 10,000 websites.


4.  Teach your kids that ANY drug they buy outside of a pharmacy may not be what they think it is.  My son thought he bought Gravol pills, not methadone.  They were packaged to look like Gravol, had the Gravol trademark on them, and he had no reason to believe he was taking anything else, even after we had his toxicology results showing he'd taken methadone.


5.  Teach your children to NEVER take medication that another child gives them.  There's a hot trade in school yards for Ritalin and Adderall.  Also, teach your kids to never give their medications to anyone else or to sell those pillls.


I'm sure these comments will shock some parents and they'll still be saying "Not my kid."  Just remember, I was convinced that it wouldn't be my son either.  I WAS SO WRONG.


Luckily, my story has a happy ending.  After 18 hours, my son woke up with no lasting physical effects of his overdose.  He turned 17 in December, and he's a wonderful, polite, smart and mature young man.  He acknowledged he did a very stupid thing when he bought and took those pills.  He no longer abuses drugs, and I can't believe how lucky I am.  I just wish I could forget those 18 hours of my life, because they still really hurt when I realize how close I came to losing the most important person in my life.

April 14, 2009, 5:16 pm CDT

Dear CJ

My son overdosed on oxycontin and xanax shortly after his 18th birthday.  Like you, he thought prescription drugs were safer than street drugs; NOT TRUE.  He went into respiratory arrest and nearly died.  Although he survived, he caused irrepairable damage to his body.  At 20 years old he has high blood pressure, tachycardia and thickening in the walls of his heart.  He will be on medication to keep these disorders in check forever.

Prescription drugs are just as dangerous, often more so, than street drugs!  Ironically, my son is in rehab today after becoming re-addicted to pain killers and xanex following a bad motorcycle accident.   I pray he'll find the strength to stop for good.  I'll pray for you too CJ.
April 14, 2009, 5:23 pm CDT

an adict in the family

I saw the show today and thought it was my daughter who is now almost 21 I have been dealing with her drug habits sence she was a teen now it has got to the point where she is endangering her own daughter  (which she does not think she is )who is 3 .............she somkes oxy and meth ,weed and drinks takes zanyx and who knows who what else Her father was the same way and still is this confuses me as her is not her bio father but yet she is mirror image of him my mother and I have enabled her and dont know where to turn she refuses help and says she can quit or says she is not using which is a down right lie I am afraid  for my grandaughters safty and hers I am afraid she will end up in prison or die I can not keep helping to support her and her daughter and pretend nothing is going on we seam to fight about it and them sweep it under the rug untill the next outburst somethings gotta give......Lost and afraid in Cal

April 14, 2009, 6:11 pm CDT

too late for our family

I just watched the show about CJ and find every aspect about it similar to our situation..My sister-in-law passed away one month ago of what we believe was a potenitally fatal mixing of drugs she abused...We are still waiting for the autopsy to confirm that but in our hearts we know  thats what happened...We are feeling the guilt at this moment of what we could have done to help...She got so bad about 6 months before she died that my husband & myself  banned her from our house, tough love @ it's worst...I know it was the right thing to do, but knowing we weren't speaking & then she passed away leave the heart more broken...I was wondering if anyone knows of how my family can make this tragedy into something positive..We are struggling to come to terms with this & feel we could be doing more for a cause...

Sad and struggling in Indiana...

April 14, 2009, 6:53 pm CDT

04/14 An Addict in the Family

CJ is so pretty she has no need to be doing these kind of things. Hopefully she can get help!
April 16, 2009, 6:50 am CDT


Well, this is also a message to others. I recently lost my brother MIchael to an accidental drug overdose. He had gone to the VA that day got whatever he wanted. THIS  was after he just got out their inpatient drug preogram to get off the meds he was on. they hooked him up 3 weeks later. I wish I could meet that doctor and I would really tell him or ask him how many other soldiers has he killed since my brother died. The day he came home he went online and checked the meds they just gave him, one was methadone..he only took a few, but mixed with phenobarbital thats all it took. I did call the doc the next day cause my brother had an appt for the following month..I just informed him that my brother wouldnt make that appt due to his overdose. I loved so much and all I remember is that his 17 yr old ran into my home, screaming my dad wont wake up..I think hes dead, we drove there about 1 minute and I wil never for get that. He was an addict who went into treatment and then went rite back to the same docs and they gave him drugs, just more potent than the ones he was on. My life is destroyed I think of him everyday, not a minute goes by where I am not depressed, I lost my other brother to AIDS 12 yrs ago. Hope some reads this and helps someone else.. 
First | Prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next | Last