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  #21  
Old 22.04.2021, 17:43
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

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I agreed with all of Ace1's post except the last part, about leaving your friend alone. It will, of course, depend on the nature of your relationship, but if it were me, I would write to the doctor (if you know there is a regular doctor in the picture). I've done this, once.
Her therapist is my former therapist ... I had thought about telling her, but I do think that could cause significant issues.

I know her husband is treating her most recent troubles quite seriously (at least more than usual) ... I will watch from afar for now.
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  #22  
Old 22.04.2021, 18:48
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

I think that it is extremely difficult to become addicted to opiates through your doctor in Switzerland. Those were the ‘old days’.

Your friend should quickly get a referral through her general practitioner to a psychiatrist - this is the only way out at this stage. Move fast. Although opioids seem harmless and comforting, they are very addictive - believe me. Opioids are not prescribed for depression, so she must be receiving them on a long-term basis from a non-medical source.
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  #23  
Old 22.04.2021, 18:54
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

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Rubish? I dont think so.
Its not rare to have a prescription valid for up to 6 month at a time.
With that one can happily go from pharmacie to pharmacie since different brands do not
communicate with each other.
In my experience with repeating prescriptions, they take the prescription away. If pressed, they'll give me a copy - which explains when the prescription was last filled. Also, all the pharmacists I've ever used in Switzerland submit the bill directly to the insurer, who might notice that you've been getting 5x 1 month's worth of Tramadol every week...

Anyway, @OP. Intervention with all concerned people, or keep quite and just pray... send positive thoughts... hope .... make some sophisticated pleas to thunder gods. Some people have to hit bottom before they'll get help. Intervention can, but doesn't always, get them there.
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  #24  
Old 22.04.2021, 19:01
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

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In my experience with repeating prescriptions, they take the prescription away. If pressed, they'll give me a copy - which explains when the prescription was last filled. Also, all the pharmacists I've ever used in Switzerland submit the bill directly to the insurer, who might notice that you've been getting 5x 1 month's worth of Tramadol every week...

Anyway, @OP. Intervention with all concerned people, or keep quite and just pray... send positive thoughts... hope .... make some sophisticated pleas to thunder gods. Some people have to hit bottom before they'll get help. Intervention can, but doesn't always, get them there.
It depends on the insurance company - With Assura for example you pay first and will reimburse you upon reciving the reciept.
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Old 22.04.2021, 19:05
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

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Her therapist is my former therapist ... I had thought about telling her, but I do think that could cause significant issues.

I know her husband is treating her most recent troubles quite seriously (at least more than usual) ... I will watch from afar for now.
Really, you are not doing her a favor if it’s just another Doctor. But, usually the prolonged use of prescribed drugs would be pick-up by by her Krankenkasse through her AHV no. No apotheke in Switzerland would let her have such a medicamentation without the necessary paperwork.
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  #26  
Old 22.04.2021, 19:24
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

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In my experience with repeating prescriptions, they take the prescription away.
Quite so. And repeating ones other than at a given pharmacy would need an insurance card/form on which each item would be recorded.

And it's worth bearing in mind that the process for strong opiates is much more thorough. No repeating prescriptions, for a start.

It's been a while now, but when I was using morphine ISTR that a named pharmacy had to be used and it was a different form of prescription. Pretty sure that all filled prescriptions were officially recorded as well, and not just at the individual pharmacy level.
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  #27  
Old 22.04.2021, 23:02
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

Meh ... I’ve already been quite obvious with what I’ve said ... but she has a family member in the industry who helps her. I’m guessing this family member is ill informed and doesn’t know how much harm she is causing, or she thinks she needs it. I do believe her luck had run out in Switzerland and due to the pandemic, she hasn’t been able to go home to get help from her family member and it is a great big mess.

At her latest hospital stay, when she checked out in the middle of the night because they wouldn’t give her the meds like they did last time, they told her and her husband that “she may die if she leaves” & I can imagine it was only because they were seriously concerned about her withdrawing without supervision...not because of her migraine which has been tested to the fullest extent without another cause like a tumor, hematoma etc..

Her husband thinks they were only “covering their ass”‘with this statement and I am shocked he doesn’t take it severely. The Swiss aren’t free with their words & a proper hospital wouldn’t say this unless they really thought it could happen.
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  #28  
Old 22.04.2021, 23:28
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

I am sorry you have to watch your close friend struggle SuzieQ. I am not sure what the best response is for you. I also had a friend in Singapore (of all places as opiates are not easy to get there) struggle with opioid addiction. She kept getting surgeries to get her pills and then would take off to Thailand for an extended stay to probably get more pills.

So hard to watch a friend struggle; she was not a close friend and so, I did not intervene. But it was tough for me to sit back and watch her struggle.

That said, if she was a good/close friend perhaps I would have intervened. If you are concerned about your friend's safety and welfare/health, in your shoes, I would talk to her first and if that does not work, talk to her husband and express your concerns.

Not an easy situation at all...Will be thinking of you!
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  #29  
Old 23.04.2021, 01:36
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

Tip no 0 - unless you're life partner, your impact is low.
However, there are sometimes situations where you'll openly put friendship to the table and do the right/wrong thing in an attempt to save the person.
I did that. Friendship went cold, for a few years. Then we reunited and she thanked me that I didn't vanish, and yeah, I was right but she wasn't there yet to really accept it and go through it.

Next.
When you're the partner of someone going down, little by little over months or years, you get used to it and it's hard to really see how bad the situation is.

Until my friend came for visit and I saw my SO through her eyes and we talked, I didn't realise how insanely bad situation is.
Then I pushed him to do doctor, therapy and whatnot without any more excuses. He was to the verge of hospitalization and both doc and I gave him grace period of few weeks since he was deadly scared of going to mental hospital in a foreign country, I was too. He made it with intensive therapy and medications.

Yes I felt really bad for letting something so serious slip through, however, I had own struggles so yeah, kind of understandable in retrospective.
Still very grateful for that friend coming over half of Europe and kicking me in the butt at the last minute.
Fun fact, that friend is the same friend from the first paragraph.

So, tip no 1 - talk to the husband. Like, be really really frank. No need to give advice, just describe very vividly situation as it is in your eyes and let him listen.

Next.
If you know her therapist, let them know your worries. Sharing worries doesn't mean telling them what to do, it's just frank observation and they'll do what they see appropriate.

Tip no 2: do not be afraid of warning therapist that their patient might be in serious crisis. Patients are like cats - excellent in hiding the truth until you squeeze it out of them. No sane therapist will have anything against you for getting the tip that situation is seriously bad.


Tip no 3: check in with your (hopefully different) therapist and talk about your helplessness. Feeling helpless is hard for mentally stable folks, it's really hard if you went through crisis at least once - you're just more receptive to shit around you.
Your therapist can help you sort your options, your priorities, your wellbeing.

Position where you're in is really really hard. Sharing it with us might or might not bring some comfort, however, proper therapy session might help you to put your ducks in a row.

:hugs: from this virtual stranger, I hope you'll find a solution with which you're in peace soon
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  #30  
Old 23.04.2021, 08:03
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

Thanks to each and every one of you for your kind & helpful advice.

Have a nice Friday & weekend ahead.
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  #31  
Old 23.04.2021, 09:36
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

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Her husband thinks they were only “covering their ass”‘with this statement and I am shocked he doesn’t take it severely. The Swiss aren’t free with their words & a proper hospital wouldn’t say this unless they really thought it could happen.
Maybe he takes it seriously but is not comfortable talking about it. If you want to make sure he hears your concerns, just talk to him from your perspective and about your feelings and your thoughts. I would steer clear from asking him what he does, what he noticed, which actions he'll take. Usually it makes people feel like they're accused of not caring, not loving etc. Ask how can you help or just mention you'd like to help if or when needed. Just some thoughts here. Stay strong.
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  #32  
Old 23.04.2021, 09:48
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

And sometimes there is nothing you can do except be a friend. If it hurts you too much to watch, then distance yourself and protect yourself.

Hugs to you all
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  #33  
Old 23.04.2021, 11:14
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Re: What to do when a dear friend won't seek help

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Rubish? I dont think so.
Its not rare to have a prescription valid for up to 6 month at a time.
With that one can happily go from pharmacie to pharmacie since different brands do not
communicate with each other.
I have rolling 'Dauer' prescriptions. The default is 6 months, and they can be specified for up to a year.

When I take the prescription to a chemist (obviously my chemist) they stamp it, and register it in their system so that I don't have to produce it again. If I were to take it to another chemist, it would already have been stamped and they would query this.

Also, my Health Insurance are very good at analyzing and rejecting claims.
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