Husband's Adderall Abuse is Destroying our Family!
My name is Sherry, and I am new to the medhelp community, but I feel compelled to share my story and ask for the help of those who have been through something like this before.
Quick bit of background information: My husband, Steve, and I have been married for over 9 years, and have two beautiful sons. We married young, and although our marriage wasn't picture perfect, we were overall in love, happy, active, pretty successful in our careers. A few years before we married, my husband had been in and out of rehab for cocaine abuse and even after he got out, he continued to "party" with other drugs, although he never went back to coke exclusively. Fast forward a few years, he got in some legal trouble and was placed on probation--forcing him to clean up his act. He did, and then we married and our oldest son came along shortly thereafter.
Like I said, most of the time, our marriage was fine. The drug use appeared to be a thing of the past, with him only occasionally smoking pot (which I didn't like at all) or having a beer or two. Nothing else.
Then, we started noticing some changes about a year and a half ago. He was always agitated, angry, became violent, secretive, always had to run out to the gas station (which was about 5 minutes away from the house and he would be gone about an hour). He started to lose a lot of weight, sweating profusely, his once voracious appetite disappeared--he would pick at his food, had huge dark circles under his eyes, always needed to drink or smoke pot in the evenings, would make some excuse to go sleep on the couch because he couldn't sleep in the bed with me (he would toss and turn). And I noticed the biggest change in his personality--the once happy, loving, caring man that I had fallen in love with, the man who coached my son's little league team, had become a cold, self-centered, callous man who couldn't be bothered with anyone else's feelings--not mine, not his kids, not his family or even his good friends. I couldn't figure it out? Was he having an affair? Bipolar? What was happening to him? I even asked him if he was on drugs, and he told me I was crazy and paranoid for thinking like that.
Our marriage began to fall apart. Money began to disappear, and he became absent in our lives, always making up an excuse as to why he wasn't at home. He started lashing out on the kids and me, cursing like a sailor around the kids (something he would never have done before), saying that he could do whatever he wanted to, no one else mattered. And he lost over 30 lbs in a matter of a few months.
In June of this year, after weeks of fighting with me and the kids, he moved out. Said he was moving in with a buddy, but within a few weeks, was moved in with a disgusting, drug addicted girl that lives in the projects (sorry, I am not being jealous or judgmental here, but it is the truth). The old Steve would have never even shaken a stick at her, but now they were living together...ok?? His presence in the kids lives began to dwindle, as did his association with his own parents and other family members. On one visit to my home, he admitted to me that he had been prescribed Adderall by his doctor and had been taking it for a few months.
About a month later, early August of this year, I was online checking my health insurance claims and noticed about 5 different prescriptions filled over about a months time for Adderall. Each was filled at a different pharmacy, and it looked to be that he was having different doctors prescribe it each time. Then, later that month, I received a few letters in the mail, stating that the Adderall had been recalled and that Steve had prescriptions filled at these pharmacies and should return any unused pills. Here's the thing though--the letters came from pharmacies that were not listed on my insurance claim page online--MEANING HE WAS ALSO GETTING SCRIPTS FILLED BY PAYING CASH--NOT BILLING THEM TO THE INSURANCE!!!
I had enough--despite the fact that he had moved in with another woman, was never around for the kids, said horrible things to me all the time, he IS still my husband and I knew that deep down inside, the good, kind-hearted Steve was there somewhere. So I made it my mission to get to the bottom of this and get him help. I contacted the few doctors that I knew had prescribed him the Adderall--each of them did not know that the other had been treating Steve and prescribing him Adderall--and informed them of what I had found. That he was having several scripts filled, that he was hostile, violent, a completely different person. His main doc said he would confront him the next time he came in for the appointment. And he did...but then he just turned around and prescribed him Ritalin!! A few days later, Steve showed up at my doorstep, crying his eyes out, looking emaciated and sick. Said he felt horrible, that he missed me and the kids, that his life was out of control. For a few minutes, he was his old self. Speaking clearly, showing emotion, etc. But when I mentioned the Adderall, he snapped. Said he had told his doc that "he'd better prescribe him what he (steve) wanted or he would buy it on the street." He took off in his truck, going to work. Later that evening, he confessed to his parents that he was abusing the adderall, taking several pills a day, because he liked the way it made him feel--organized, energetic, invincible. He had even sold his Adderall at times. He also compared it to coke, saying that he had done a few lines a few weeks ago, and that it was nothing compared to the high he got from the Adderall. That scares the **** out of me!
Nothing happened then for a few weeks, until finally, he called out of the blue. Said he stopped taking everything, the Ritalin, the Adderall, everything. That he was feeling good, happy, healthy. I saw him this week, and he has gained some weight, has color in his face again, etc. I was happy for him, thinking he was on the right path, but at the same time, questioning who has that kind of willpower to go from several pills a day to nothing. And just as I was leaving, he said something that I can't get out of my head: "I have an appointment with my dr. next week and I am going to ask him to put me back on the Adderall. I know I got out of control with it for a while there, but I think that if I take it the right way, it will be better."
So now I am tempted to call the doctor that I think he is going to see and telling him all that I know. Hopefully, he will not prescribe it for him. Do you guys think that is the right thing to do? I just don't think he is capable of taking it the right way--maybe at some point in the future, but def not now...it is just too soon--do you all agree?? I just want him to go to rehab, and I know that he won't go until he hits his rock bottom...but we are sick of waiting, his kids miss him like crazy and he does not even come see them anymore--he is still living with that girl! He claims to love us, but has more than disappeared from our lives, and we want to help him before he ends up dead or in jail. Please help, any advice, input, etc. would be much appreciated. I am sorry this was so long!
Call the Doctor - the Doc can also lose his license to prescribe - or the Hubby can also get in strong legal problems for Doctor shopping......obtaining multiple scheduled drugs from more than one physician - - - If you took a poll on this forum I would wager that 90% of us addicts all had the bright idea that if we could only just use "as prescribed" that "it will be better next time" ........ That one never works.....
ur hubby has a hx of addiction..tho yrs ago..it will always be there...I do beleive it is a disease..it can go into remission...but it lies there...and the scond life is not hunky dory/someone clean for yrs can relapse..can even be aging and feeling tired...stress..unhappiness over sumpin..lots of things with stress of some sort being number one..will often make a clean addict turn back to their old friend/who is really their enemy...he just forgot cos so many yrs have passed and the brain is made to forget the intensity of the pain we felt at the moment we felt it..
.he has forgotten the pain using caused him...but he will remember real soon if he continues..an addict can not use responsibly..not ever ever again..so many try and fail....but it is almost a hard core fact that a true addict can not use successfully...sad but true...this is why continued aftercare is so very crucial..to keep u on track as time goes by...and the pain of using/the pain we inflicted on others and ourselves subsides..this disease/or whatever u wanna label it/does not go away..it is always lurking right under the surface...scary....really scary
adderall does not have a true physical wd like narcotics and benzos..but the mental wd is horrid for many...with depression and fatigue casing relapse for most amphetamine/cocaine users...even for narcotic users/the mental is worse than the physical wd for most..was for me...after and addict has been clean for 3 mths or more...almost all will say the mental was the hardest...tho this is not what an addict usually fears the first go around...they r afraid of the physical part..and lil do they know what lil bit that discomfort has to do with the getting clean scenario
ur hubby has to want help..u can not do it for him...he may need some sorta help with an AD etc until this passes..if it were me, i would call the dr..this will not stop him tho..he will just find another...but if he continues dr shopping..he will end up in jail...bad place to figure out u screwed up again..but for some this has to happen to learn/and even then/some dont learn...u gotta take care of u right now....u can support him..but u cant "wish" him clean..he will have to face it/get aftercare/and do the work to stay clean..i feel for u..he is lucky to have u tho
Adderall is a way better high than coke in my opinion it lasts longer and with me you did not crash as hard when you come down. It sounds like he has quit for awhile maybe because another medication is helping him and now like most of us on this site have done it's time to reward himself with his DOC since he has quit for awhile it's his mind playing tricks on him he thinks I can take a few here and there but it always leads to abuse often times more than you used before. Your situation is tough to be in, I left a 20 year relationship because of pills. My wife would not quit and the only way I could get clean was to leave. If the person does not want to stop it's almost impossible to get them to stop. You can look back and realize, sorry this may hurt but you may have got the best part of him in the prior years, the reason why he left is because he knew he would not get away with the addictive behavior unless he left. Give him a few chances and as many tools as possible to make the right decision but set your limits and stick with it. I'm here for you, we are all here for you.
agree with chopper..boundaries are important in any relationship/limits....u gotta have ur line drawn as to what u will or will not do....when u let down ur limits/or ur boundaries/u feel it inside//it feels strange/cos u know u have let someone cross ur boundary line..we all do it...and we often feel it when we do it..but we learn to trust our gut instinct...and we learn from every mistake we make...
there is such a thing as loyalty and love/helping the one u love..i am the most loyal person on earth when i love someone..but at times we love the wrong person/and we hate to admit poor judgement or perhaps things changed and the person is no longer the person we decided to let into our life...crud happens..only thing i have learned from past failed relationships is that u feel the time to go/we just dont listen to it cos we dont wanna hear it...for me/i know and hope i remember (: when i c the writing on the wall..let go..move on..when u let people cross ur boudaries over and over..u lose a bit of urself....there may need to be a "point" u will not be pushed to...u may want to think about that now///and that is IT! no further..cos it can take a piece of ur heart with it if it doesnt work out and becoming hard and non-trusting is not what most wanna be..u will know..ur gut will tell u// everyone's boundaries are different..but ur soul hurts when u do things that r against ur "Lines" ur boundaries, ur limit...whatever u wanna call it...but u just know
Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and words of wisdom. I really appreciate it all, especially the "tough love."
I did call his doctor today, and I left him a voicemail. I know that Steve's appointment is Thursday this week, and I explained in my message that I know that he has stopped the Ritalin, says he has stopped the Adderall, but wants to take them again, the "right" way. I asked him (ok, begged, really) that he PLEASE not prescribe this to him again--I know he can find it elsewhere but I hope that by making it difficult for him, I can buy him some time to think about this. I know that he is not likely to think rationally at this point, is actually BLAMING ME (!!) for keeping him from his kids, when he actually hasn't even called them himself in several weeks. He doesn't get it, one the one hand he confesses to me all that he has done with the Adderall, how out of control it was, but then he doesn't get why I want to protect my children. He thinks I am punishing him, and says it is cruel because he misses them so much. For weeks now, I have told him that he is welcome to visit his children at my home, his parents home, a close friend's home, etc. and so far, he hasn't taken any interest. Yes, it really seems like he misses them, right?? I just feel like he is looking for someone to blame for everything that is going wrong in his life right now, and I am just an easy target.
I have asked myself many times why I am still here, when he has put me through so much. The truth is...I still love him. I know the real Steve is in there somewhere, and I hold out hope that he will magically appear again. I know if the tables were turned, he would do the same thing for me. I am also terrified because I know that there is the very real possibility, like some of you have mentioned, that I've already seen the best of him and that our time is over. And although I am still coming to terms with that, I honestly have to try. For him, for our boys, for everything that we stand for. If it doesn't work, then so be it, but I know that I am the only one in his life that will really push him to get the help he needs. His family offers to help, and then they never follow through. So, although they support my efforts, I am kind of in this alone...except for you all! ;-)
I know where you are coming from you still have it in you to fight, don't give up If you try and speak to his heart maybe it will work. Usually when the addict takes the drug and is high is when he hates it the most and is the most talkative about it FYI. Tell him you love him and be honest maybe call him and try and setup a time for him to see the kids with supervision take action try and speak to his heart and tell him positive things explain he has options you can help he does not have to go through this alone. I think you know most of this but if he does not come around we will be here for you. In my situation I'm 31 days clean reading your post makes me think of my maybe soon to be x-wife and I still love her so much it kills me, I think allot about going back to save her from her addiction but you can't save them remember that it will be mostly on their terms and when they are ready. I will pray he wakes up I can tell your a wonderful mother and wife.
I sympathize with you and your husband because I am in your husband's shoes. I have been taking Adderall off and on for almost three years and I can only tell you it does not get any better. I have relapsed many times and after putting eight months together I recently went back and asked for them. I was depressed and tired and desparate. My husband caught me and this time he did not take the pills away. He is letting me finish them but he wants me off by Jan 1. I am scared to death. I've done all the things your husband did; different docs, snorting always, using way too many. Buying them elsewhere. In the end I got caught and was left without them. Withdrawal was awful. extreme exhaustion and depression. Even though I'd be mad if my husband called a doctor that was giving it to me I have to say you did what was right. Your trying to help him. I'm trying to wean and stop but it is really hard. Cold turkey is a nightmare but I may be forced to do that because it's hard to control an addiction. You are a good wife and I hope he will find the willingness and desperation to stop.
For the record I have a n 8 & 4 year old and I just found out that my husband has been on Adderall (a lot of it) since 2008. I am in the same boat and I'd really like to hear more about three years later. I have to confront him or leave him. That is why I am asking. I am you three years ago.
Well... if you are still out there I would be glad to talk. As I, along with many others have watched the severe decline of my husband. My helpless heart aches. 15-20 30 mg Adderall daily. Hiding from the world. In his mind he thinks he is still functioning. He has withdrawn from our business. He know "busts his ***" doing things we all feel are useless in the grander scheme. I guess I need to be honest and say to some extent he has always been addicted to something. When I was teen they put me on Ritalin for ADD that I didn't have. I would drink to bring myself back down from that darn madness in my head. Then I grew up. And just never drank or took the "evil" again. Why hasn't my husband grown up? It has been a downward spiral since April of 08. I too know that I will most likely have to make him leave. I love my husband. I've tried intervention, pressure to attend rehab, ect... I just don't think he wants the help. Again he is prescribed it 2 x's a month. Don't ask me how its the same dr. And also sends other people to same dr's office then pays those people for the rx. This is a terrible problem. I can't fix this. I've tried repeatedly. It has now gotten to the point where I am doing nothing else but pointing out all his crazy a-- decisions and actions in hopes it may make the difference. It's not working either.
~ a sad wife
I feel your pain and my heart goes out to you. its funny how I see your life and it looks like mine... I have a husband who been addicted to addarall for over a year now its broken our family twice and he acted the same way with my kids didn't care much for them and when he did want them he couldn't understand why I protected them from seeing him like that I went down your route but everyone right he will just buy off the streets that's how my husband gets it.... I am here to tell you I woke up this morning asking God to show me the way let me know what to do and I cannot believe my eye when I read your story and everyone feed back your husband is still there and it hurts ...boy do I know it hurts seeing the man you love ruin his life but God himself only know why we go through what we go through and if it weighing you down and he asks you to put it down its for a reason its funny I fought with myself on what is the right thing to do for me and my two kids and I actually fixed my credit got a house and showed my husband a better life he got clean for a while came back home everything was magical but then 4 months shortly after he started using started with that talk how it keeps him focus and that he needs to take it its true someone who has no will power cannot take medication on his own... it so sad but I decided today to lay down the line he killing himself but I will not allow him to kill me and my children lives in the process tough love is the best kind God himself will put you on the right path and no its not going to be easy but follow what you think is right stay married but don't focus on him but turn it on you and your kids..... and I know from first hand its not easy .... but a selfish heart gain nothing in this process but we as women are strong God would not give you something you could not handle pray for strength and pray for your husband as wives we feel we have to battle for our husband in a way that is vocal and physical NO that's not how married women should fight for their man Pray for his well being pray for his strength you have no idea what an addict feels and neither do I but it is a struggle and love you husband but from a distance he may never change but you did everything right all you can do is forgive let go and let God and no im not asking your to be a wimpy woman but lay your rules down and if he doesn't care for it now believe me once you start on your self and not show him he is all you think about he will realize he will .... people give up on marriage to easy but we are in a covenant with God you two shared vows and there is a reason for that but now is the time to let God restore your marriage but like I said it isn't going to be easy but do know you are not alone there a millions just like us going through the same problem Ill pray for your husband and family and for your strength. and for myself I found my answers and outcome is uncertain but advice I gave you im also giving and taking for myself.. So if you do ever start to pray please pray for my strength and the wellbeing of my children.. Thank you
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