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How to approach an addict
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How to approach an addict

Hello all,
My wife has had addiction problems in the past with pain killers and then methadone (poison, in my opinion)  I personally loathe the pharmaceutical industry and the doctors who have become their legal drug-dealers. Anyhow, my wife has Lso been on adderall (adderrall) for what she claims is ADHD. the thing is, it has NEVER helped her in any way. She has all the same problems she claims it helps her to manage. Last year I got her to agree to stop taking it and try other ways to manage her "ADHD" and she claimed she did. Recently, she has begun to suffer from non-bizarre delusions and they are destroying our  marriage. after doing some reading and consulting a psychologist, I am convinced theses delusions are directly linked to adderall (adderrall) which she admits she is still taking. (she had been hiding it from me). My question is, how do i approach her about getting off this stuff?  Do I bring in family members?  Our pastor?  Do I give her an ultimatum?  Should I be extremely firm?  

Also, just for backgrounds sake, she is 38, twice divorced, we have 2 children 4 and 11, she also suffers from severe migraines and is on a pile of pills for that.  

Any thoughts?  And thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi! I only have a minute here but I wanted to respond to you...

Where is she getting the adderall (adderrall)?  Has she been diagnosed?  If she's abusing it (which it sounds like) that's your first problem to deal with. Get her to a doctor and under his/her advice, get her tapered off. She needs to be watched because we tend to find pills everywhere and are very good at lying about everything (until we get clean!). She may turn to the internet for pills so put a watch on that!

It's speed;plain and simple. It will mess a person up very badly and I feel for you as her spouse.  Getting her off of that is your first step; then the other junk.

Ultimatums do not not work!  Be firm but be gentle if that makes sense..."I love you but you're sick"....If YOU need to, then bring in a trusted family member but I'd be careful there...

A doctor,therapist,and a lot of loving support is in order. I'd get her to a doctor first...

Others will post and you need to know that you came to the right place!
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Avatar_m_tn
Vicki, thanks for taking the time to respond. The adderall (adderrall) is prescribed, but the doctor didn't really do much more than ask a few questions before putting her on quick release AND eetended release adderall (adderrall). It's disgusting how easy it is. The reason I feel like I need to be more aggressive is because she already lied about getting off this crap before. And her delusions are not only damaging our marriage, the psychologist warned that she may become dangerous. When I suggested the drugs may have something to do with her delusions she simply said that I was just using that to hide the truth and try to make her think she is crazy. I feel trapped in this situation. I just want her to be healthy and I have kids to think about. I need to find a way to INSIST she stop without alienating her or pushing her further into her delusional state.
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82861_tn?1333457511
It's delusional to believe that insisting she stop will have any effect at all.  Nothing you say can top the voice in her head that tells her to keep taking the pills.  Actions speak louder than words with addicts.

My concern here is for you and the kids.  When a psychologist warns that a patient may become dangerous and you see signs that dangerous behavior is coming, it's time for you to take action.  First, do whatever you must to protect the kids.  That means removing them from your wife's physical proximity or vice versa.  Losing you and the kids, even temporarily, is a consequence of her drug abuse.  Only when addicts feel those consequences can they be motivated to change.  Nobody's saying anything about divorce right now.  It's all about self-preservation.
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Avatar_m_tn
Jaybay,
I want to say first that I agree about the kids. There is an issue with that, however. I am just their stepfather. I am as close to a father as our 4 yr old has and I love her like my own(both of them). However, we just ended a bitter custody dispute with their father who is a sexually abusive alcoholic. We had evidence but not enough to satisfy the ridiculous legal system in our county. So, taking action against her would jeopardize our littlest one as I would have NO chance in custody hearings against him. I just don't have the same parental standings. It's very complicated. And so I need to do something short of that.
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82861_tn?1333457511
Ouch.  You're really in a tough situation.  So, back to your initial question: how do you approach your wife about the problem?  Pretty much the same way you have here.  Pick your moment, be prepared for some serious defensive tactics on her part, and lay out to her exactly what you see happening to her, you and the children as a consequence of her abusing her meds.  Don't expect her to see the light immediately.  Call it a warning shot over the bow to get her attention.  

How do you respond to her actions when she's obviously high?  Do you try to cover for her?  Is money disappearing from the family bank account that can't be accounted for?  When you have your talk, you have to be prepared to lay out certain rules and boundaries.  For example, you may want to take custody of the car keys so she can't drive while she's wasted.  If finances are a problem, take control over them and change passwords and remove all access to the accounts.  You have to look at it from the point of saving yourself and the kids rather than changing her behavior. Ultimatums don't work.  Bargaining doesn't work.  The "if you loved us" plea doesn't work.  Real consequences do work.

Before you open the floor for discussion, you may want to talk to a rehab facility about what is involved in getting her admitted, what it costs and if your insurance covers any part of treatment.  On the off chance that your discussion will result in your wife agreeing to rehab it's important to have that information readily at hand. You said she used to abuse opiates.  Did she detox on her own or as part of a rehab program?  If she never worked a program it's no surprise that she's abusing another medication now.  She's sick and she simply doesn't have the necessary tools and support system to stay sober.

You're on the right track with all your research about adderall (adderrall) and its side effects, but you need more education about addiction so that you can manage your life with an active addict.  I know I sound like a broken record on this forum, but Al-Anon is your best resource for both education and support.  It's open to anyone whose life has been impacted by someone else's alcohol or drug abuse.  Web-based forums like this one are great but nothing beats the personal touch with other people in the same boat that you're in.  A great resource for understanding addiction is the AA "Big Book."  Yes, it's geared toward alcoholics but the behaviors are the same for any addiction.  You can get a copy from about any AA group or online bookstores.  Al-Anon also has many publications that can help you as you wade through the quagmire.  Never forget it's all about helping you and the kids more than changing and fixing your wife.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there, and welcome to the forum. I am heartbroken over your situation, but I am so glad you wrote, and am glad to meet you. You must feel very alone and in need right now. Perhaps everyone here can help some with their opinions and ideas for a solution to this many-faceted problem. I have a few questions for you.
1. You said she is on several medications. Are they through different doctors? If so, these doctors need to confer together on ANY drug or other treatment they intend to give your wife.
2. Do you think she's getting other additional drugs off the street that you aren't aware of? Addicts are very, very sneaky!
3. Whether or not she is taking drugs she isn't supposed to be taking, her condition is changing, and worsening at that. She really should be hospitalized. Can you get a private appointment with her doctor or doctors? Tell him/them what's going on. Write stuff down in a notebook so you don't forget anything. Include examples of why you think she's worsening, dates, behavior, how it's affecting you and the kids---really make a case for amping up her treatment. Really emphasize the kids aspect, as that can move a doctor to act (due to possible legal action) where other arguments do not. I've had psychiatric patients before, and they almost all need hospitalization once or twice--or more---in their lives to correct imbalances. Something as simple as a pregnancy, a non-psychiatric health problem, menopause, a car wreck--or even just aging can throw a patient's already shaky psychiatric state totally out of whack and require hospitalization to restore the delicate balance. If she's delusional, and left alone with those children by themselves, they are not safe. And neither is she, really.
4. Does she have supportive family members that you can count on? They need to know what's going on so their voices can be heard, too. A united front is so much better than having to do this all yourself.
5. Do you have a lawyer? You may need a lawyer, especially if she fights you on the hospital treatment, or anything having to do with the children.
6. Has she ever abused the children? I am so sorry to even have to ask that question. If the answer is yes...well, I can talk to you later about that. I sure hope not. If she has, and you have proof, that is powerful ammunition for hospitalization vs. jail.
I wish you all the best. I know your heart is heavy right now, but think of why and for whom you are doing this, and give it your best shot. I will be looking for your posts in days to come.
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