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My Wife is Addicted to Pain Meds and Has Already Had 4 Overdoses - Any Advice?

by Rick

My wife is has an addiction problem with pain medication. Her back was injured requiring surgery in an auto accident and and it seems she continues to use this as a reason to continue the medication usage.

We have agreed that I keep the meds locked away and give as prescribed but she still finds ways to get other pills. She has been through a 30 day rehab treatment center but we still live with the problem.

I struggle to continue in this marriage but walking away for me is not really an option. I need the problem solved. Her doctors are all aware of this but don't really help fix the problem ...

This has been going on over 6 years. Four overdoses. Things are better with me controlling the meds but not fixed. I do not want to live the rest of my life in this situation. I am 56 and she is 52. Any advise?


Hi Rick

Unfortunately prescription drug abuse and addiction is a massive problem that doesn't nearly get the attention it deserves.

The obvious step is, as you have seemingly done, to make your wife's doctors aware of the problem so that they just don't keep prescribing her medication unwittingly. But as with any addict, it's easy enough for her to get around that.

And like with any addiction, your wife actually needs to want to overcome it, if she is ever going to do so successfully. There is no short cut or quick fix - because despite all your best efforts and intentions - she's the one that has to make it happen. And until she's ready to do that, there isn't a lot you can do I'm afraid. The sad reality of any addiction is that we are powerless to control or cure someone else's using.

Going to Al Anon or Naranon meetings - which are for family members of someone suffering from an addiction - might be helpful for you to interact with and learn from others who are in a similar position to what you are. The support of others who understand what you're going through can make a world of difference in a situation like yours.

Eventually it boils down to learning to live your own life as best as you possibly can and finding things to do that make you happy, despite what your wife does. Hopefully she reaches her bottom and decides she needs to change, but like I said that's not something you have any real control over.

I understand your frustration, but you're going to have to learn to let go, and start focusing on yourself again, as difficult as that may be.

Some people eventually make their partner's choose - me or the drugs. That's an extreme measure that does sometimes work, but it does mean having to be prepared to actually walk away, and unless it's something you're prepared to do, then don't go there.

Whatever you do, good luck, stay strong and God Bless

Comments for My Wife is Addicted to Pain Meds and Has Already Had 4 Overdoses - Any Advice?

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Nov 22, 2009
Careful about enabling
by: Anonymous

Be careful about enabling your wife's behavior. Is she experiencing any consequences to her continued drug using that might make her re-assess and take getting clean seriously. With the accident being that long ago - does she even need to be using any form of medication anymore? Maybe if she came to realise she could live pain free without these meds, she'd be prepared to work towards stop using them. Alternative remedies or treatments might help. Good Luck.

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