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Question
Posted by: LINDA | 2007/06/05

PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION OVERDOSE

My sister in law (52) has been addicted to prescription meds - anti depression to pain killers - not over counter meds, taking a total of 70 prescribed tablet per day! She is now almost a vegetable, living with her 85 yr old mother and she is smoking aprox 70 cigarettes a day and never gets dressed in the am - living in PJ's and crying about the past. Her husband left her 15 years ago and moved in with another woman - paid for wife's necessIties - and have not divorced ea other. She is unable to pay for rehab (unemployed) - I have looked into Town Hill in PMB - but she will not admit herself as is scared she will die of siezures - and will not listen to reason. I am scared she will end up dead like Anna Nicole Smith and angry that my mum in law at 85 is expected to look after her when it should be the other way around. I need help for her and to ensure (after she is better) that this doctor does not do this to anyone else. Please advise soonest - as the days go by and she is getting worse and worse and the doctor keeps prescribing more and more tablets for her. Hope you can help!

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Our expert says:
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Dear Linda
The best way would be to get her to go voluntary to another GP or Psychiatrist for a second opinion to maybe relook her medication and gradually get her off the unnecessary drugs. Maybe the current treating doctor is not aware that she is misusing the drugs or getting repeated fills - I think you should discuss this with him/her and make him aware of this.

To force her to be admitted you will have to apply to a magistrate for an order that the person be detained at a mental institution. She needs a medical certificate from 2 medical practitioners to certify that she must be admitted against her will - do not go this way if you can help it.

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