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1643958 tn?1301004655

Prescription drug addiction

My mother used to drink 5 to 7 days out of the week. I considered her to be an alcoholic (of course she denied and still denies she was). She drank up until about 8 years ago when she somehow "hurt" her back. Ever since, she has been put on every painkiller known to man. At first she would fall asleep constantly, standing up, in her food, in the restroom, etc.. After a few years, her medication was adjusted and she could actually stay awake for longer periods of time. Anyways, here we are years later and her "pain" is still "horrible" (the doctors still have yet to find what is causing the pain). "The painkillers just don't help". She's on opana IR 10's and opana ER 40's (which from my understanding are extremely strong). I can't even remember how many she is prescribed to take a day, between 3 and 6 of each? She does nothing all day, just about everyday. She lays back in bed and complains about how horrible the pain is EVERY SINGLE DAY. Rather than be focused on her daughters or husband, her entire life revolves around her pain medication. If the "pain" is worse at any given time, she just snorts or takes extra pills.If she is in danger of running out before her next refill, she takes sleeping pills to knock herself out so she wont have to be without them. I figured I would explain the situation before the question. She is in complete denial that she is addicted. I personally feel that yes, she may be in some pain.. but I also feel that she is ADDICTED to the medication. I really think 80% of this pain is due to the medication and addiction itself.
I need my mom in my life. I can't take it any longer. I'm not trying to bury my mother anytime soon. Is this for certain an addiction to drugs? She's in such denial that it sometimes makes me second guess myself. So yeah, I'm basically asking if this is a definite drug addiction, even though she is prescribed the pills each month? And also how to get through to her that she needs help?
Best Answer
1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
hello i am so sorry you have to deal with this. you are very strong. yes your mom is addicted even though she is prescribed the meds her body has built up a tolerance and that is why she needs more and stronger meds. she needs to first be honest with herself which is hard for addicts to do. she also needs to see a pain management doctor. there are other things that can be done to manage pain. many times the pain becomes worse when on the pain meds. she can exercise, go to physical therapy, use of the counter meds. the first step is her admitting she is an addict when they get caught in their situation they become blinded and do not see what they have become and how it affects all those around them. she is very dysfunctional at this time and you definitely need her in your life. you deserve your mom and she deserves a better life. talk to your dad and try to plan a family meeting including your mom and just talk and tell her your feelings and ask her to see a different doctor if the one she has wont help. she needs to taper from the meds she is on and that will require her to do other things to manage the pain. i will pray for you and your family.
God bless you
debbie
8 Responses
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1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
also since she has a alcohol history it is very evident that she has addiction issues and needs to stop using all drugs, alcohol and pills. she should go to counseling, she probably has depression issues. she can see a psychologist, psychistrist,social worker. she probably needs antidepressant meds. i hope my words have helped you at least a little bit. can you find someone to talk to who is local. a guidance counselor, a pastor, a family member?  you and you sister also should be counseled.
blessings
debbie
Helpful - 0
932659 tn?1332118704
Hi,
I would definitely say she is addicted.  The hard part is going to be getting her to admit it.  It does not sound like she wants help, she is really in denial as you say.  Snorting the pills is NOT normal and it sounds like her life revolves around pills as it does with many addicts.  She may have traded her addiction when she went from alcohol to pills.  Is she using multiple doctors or just one?  What about your siblings and your Father, do they know, how do they feel?  Right now the only things I can think of to suggest would be an intervention and for you to get some help with maybe a group like alanon, and talking to us here of course.  Hopefully somebody will come along with some more suggestions :)
Helpful - 0
1310633 tn?1430224091
Classic addictive behavior. I had horrible pain also, while using, but came to find out after getting clean, that about 90% of it was in my head.

The pain med's have the nasty side effect of making your brain think it NEEDS them to function.

If she ever decides to stop, she'll have the same realization, I'd almost be willing to bet you money.

I'm sorry you're having to sit and watch her do this, but please understand that she is an ADDICT, and it isn't a choice she's made, or a mind-over-matter situation. She has a diseased mind & body.

It's no excuse for what you and your family have had to endure through the years, don't get me wrong, but I thought I'd try and put it into perspective.

LMNO
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm so sorry for you Sweetie.  Yes,your Mother is horribly addicted. Snorting?? Definitely addictive behaviour. And no motivation or normal functioning?? That's pretty serious. You can't make her WANT to stop or get better but you can intervene. You can call or better yet,go in to see her doctor and tell him/her what you're seeing. He won't be able to share anything with you but he can get her in the office and talk to her. He can cut back the meds and help her taper off but she has to want to work at it.  Does she get her pills from more than one source? If so,she's crossing a line and could get into legal trouble. Have you tried talking to her about this abuse?
Helpful - 0
1643958 tn?1301004655
You guys are very helpful, thank you so, so much. I appreciate everything each of you said. Just the reassurance you guys have just given to me helps. I know it's a very small step, and may not seem like much, but I could cry right now (in a good way).
To answer some questions.. (I'll apologize in advance for how long this is going to be, lol. I've never had the opportunity to really explain this to anyone on the outside.)

Yes, my family does in fact know and they acknowledge all of it, she won't listen to anything we have to say. There are three of us, I have an older sister who is 35 and a younger sister who is 20. My older sister was an IV drug user for years. She was severely addicted to heroin. So that's another excuse my mother has. My sister was on an illegal substance and was addicted, therefore since my mother is prescribed, (in her head) what she is doing is okay.

I'm really at loss as to what to do. Everyone is just giving up and honestly I, in ways, can't blame them. It's hard for me to express to my step dad and my sisters how badly this does effect me. I live on my own so I don't have to deal with it as often as they do. I guess you could say I got a break and finally got away from it? My step dad is a very, very honorable man, the best there is. He's given up so much of his life to deal with her and take care of her. My younger sister also had to take care of the house and her. She's my best friend and I feel awful that she had to give up years of her life because of this. She's given up though, she said to me yesterday she just can't keep trying. Therefore, she's starting to completely give up now. My family is just ruined.

I understand my mother has made many mistakes and I resent her for a lot of it, I won't lie. But I love her more than anything and I just can't sit here and watch this any longer. Or for the matter, sit back and not watch. The worse her health gets from this, the more it pushes me away. I don't want to be pushed away or run when I can't deal.

I can't talk to her doctors. She's had so many. When they try to lower her dosage, she moves to another one. She sometimes has to go to a pain clinic? Also, she won't do any of the alternatives anymore. She's been told numerous times to try walking, doing exercises, physical therapy, etc. She won't even try.

I've been to counseling many times (I have bipolar I disorder). So a few times I have been forced, rather than willing to go. But every time I have went (since I was 15), they've blamed my mother for a lot of my own problems. That always caused me to stop going, because I felt as if they were bad mouthing my mother. Or that it was actually, really my fault and I felt guilty, as if I exaggerated something? or maybe somehow I implied something inaccurate to make them believe my mom is to blame? So that has never really worked for me. And I feel now, as if I can't move on with my life, until I fix all of this.

As you can all see, I'm pretty desperate for people to talk to. It's much easier to open up completely to strangers, as I'm sure you can understand.

I came up with an idea, since for the most part, I'm on my own right now with the situation. I thought about maybe, as some of you have suggested, a little intervention of my own?
I started writing a letter last night, because I need to get through to her without her interrupting me and telling me how wrong I am. Does a long, detailed letter sound like a good start at least? So far it is very thoughtful and loving. I figure then I'll start to break everything down and tell her how our family has been and still is falling apart. Does this sound like a good first step to take? I've never tried indirectly speaking to her before. So this will at least be a different from my many other failed attempts. Will this possibly turn out better? Something about pouring my emotions out on multiple pieces of paper seems appealing to me? It's harder for me to express myself in person, with words just coming out of my mouth. Writing is much easier for me. Maybe I will be able to really get through this time. Or am I getting my hopes up too much?
I'm sorry, I know I'm asking a whole lot of questions. I'm just incredibly confused and overwhelmed. It took my older sister a few years in jail to finally get off of drugs. There's no chance my mom will end up in a facility, unless she willingly goes. I personally feel that she will die from this. Her health is deteriorating rapidly. It's like slowly watching your mom commit suicide.
If this letter doesn't work, does anyone have any other suggestions as to what I should do? I have tried therapy, talking to her, talking to my family, etc. Maybe I'm not going about this right?
How do you get someone who doesn't want help or feel that they need help, ya know?

You guys are absolutely amazing and so far very helpful. I appreciate all of your kind words and advice.

Thank you so much :).

Helpful - 0
1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
so glad to see you writing and getting your feelings out that is so important, even if it is to us faceless strangers.. lol. i am a 54 yr old woman. i married a man 21 yrs. ago i met in church.. he had been a heroin addict before i met him and he had been clean for 5 yrs. we married. i had a son from a former marriage who was 5. i had been widowed. he had a daughter from a previous marriage she was 11. one yr. later i had a daughter. things were fine for 5 yrs. and then things just werent adding up. where he was, why he was gone so long, money missing, so i began to dig and found pills and he denied. i had him take urine tests oh they are wrong. so finally he admitted said he wont do it again. this began a 5 yr cycle of him using morphine,coke,drinking,. lies, hurts, deceit. i had two more sons by now. i had four children never worked outside the house, so i felt stuck. he said i will go on methadone for 1 yr. ok that was supposed to be the deal. after the year he said i stopped. i believed him, why not, isn't he supposed to be honest. by this time my son was 15 and getting in trouble in school, had been diagnosed with bipolar, getting in trouble with the cops smoking pot and doing coke. i actually put him in a rehab at 17 one of the hardest decisions of  my life. but it saved his life. i definitely know it had alot to do with our home environment. my husband and i fought alot. then my husband went away to a rehab for a month or so. he was ok for a while . but it started again. it wasnt so bad in the beginning he was very functional not that i liked him using but he did. as the years went on it got was worse. he was angry, always falling asleep, never happy, my children and i were in counseling. my husband said oh yea all my fault. well alot of it was. i am not perfect. but i did try to keep my family together. so many things that were so dysfuntional about our family. to the outside world we looked like a happy family. our family and friends didnt know. he always denied his use, said i was crazy, said i didnt discipline the kids. that is why everything was so messed up. my daughter now was 16 also pot and coke. my 2 oldest both quit hs in their senior yr. what are the chance of that. we lived in a very affluent community. even though yes kids did drugs and there def. were overdoses and deaths. but nobody quit school. ok my son was a bad seed, right, then my daughter also quit in her senior yr. they had to much stress at home, i am convinced and werent secure. i threatened divorce, jail, i called the cops on my husband and he actually got a prescription from the clinic to show the judge it was ok he was on it. but he was also taking xanax,buying more meth on the street  and drinking like a fish. my two young sons one was very aggressive in school and was getting in trouble and the other one was very withdrawn. talk about dyfunction. a major mess, so sad. all the while my husband said he wasnt addicted and wasnt using.. 5 yrs. ago he moved into another bedroom in our house he wouldnt leave i hated him and wanted him dead so we would be free of him. then 2 yrs. ago he finally left. he got so bad he was suicidal. i told his family and mine. i called his doctors, told our pastor and our church. i reviled our dirty laundry and his sins for what they were. when he was finally sick and tired of being sick and tired and chained to his meth bottle and pills. he was a shell of the man i married, a broken,sad,depressed man. he went into a christian drug and alcohol program. my children are 25,19,13 & 11. he has been clean for 13 months now. he is 57 yrs. old and my family had 14 wasted and horrible years enduring his addiction. but by the grace of God we are healing and being restored. we cant go back and change things that happened  we can only go forward. my two oldest are drug free and have been before my husband was clean and my 2 younger sons are doing much better. so many things i cant even write it all. i was having such severe panic attacks for years and had to be taken to the hospital several times they thought i was having strokes.my 13 yr had many physical issues all stress related, gerd,psorasis,stomach problems. my poor babies. i have to forgive or else the bitterness will kill me. thank the Lord my children are doing much,much,much better. so yes alot of your familys issues are def. related to your mom addiction how can they not be. maybe your dad can tell her to leave let her hit rock bottom, she is comfortable and has all she needs, her bed, pills. i would def write her the letter and tell her you wont be part of her life until she is clean and better. my husband is in the best shape of his life, he exercises, eats well, volunteers at the christian program he was in. reads his bible ,we attend church, it can get better. i pray your mom will be open to listening to you and your family. intervention worked for us, once i told everyone he couldnt run anymore, i took all access to the bank accounts from him. he was alone living in a crappy hotel room. drastic measures have to be taken. she is too comfortable. make it hard to her and she will start to squirm. so that is much of our story and it is so sad, but the chains of addiction and bondage can be broken. can you try to take care of yourself. go to church , talk to a pastor, talk to your dad and see what he says about leaving or telling her to leave. i will pray for your situation.
God bless you
debbie
Helpful - 0
82861 tn?1333453911
I feel your pain.  Watching a loved one sink into the disease of addiction is incredibly emotionally draining.  At some point, we have nothing left to give and must focus on our own healing.  One of the things Alanon will tell you is to "detach with love."  Another truism is "support the recovery and not the addiction."  

Writing a letter to your mother is a great idea and is a great way to set some boundaries and make them very clear to her.  It would be even better if the whole family would do the same thing, but there's no reason for you to wait on anyone else.  Now is the time to take care of YOU.  If that means you no longer spend time with you mother, then so be it.  There are consequences to her abuse and it's time she had them spelled out in no uncertain terms.  Whatever the other family members do is their business.  For now, think about what you can do to help yourself.  Unless and until your mom realizes that she has a big problem, there is nothing that anyone can do to help her.

I do think Alanon would be a big help to your entire family.  They'll help you all learn how to set boundaries to protect your emotional health and more important, how to end enabling behavior.  Wherever there is an addict or an alcoholic, there is an enabler.  It can be surprising just how much we do enable our addicted loved ones without realizing it.  Addicts are very good at using emotional blackmail as a weapon.  

You're off to a great start putting your thoughts on paper.  Keep it up and stick to your guns with whatever boundaries you set.
Helpful - 0
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