Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Understanding It

Hi Everyone,
I am the wife of an addict as you can tell by my name.  He is addicted to codiene.  He has been taking this for maybe 2 years now, and what i know is that he is up to at least 12 a day.  He is only 24, and is experiencing great health problems.  I need to understand this disease if this marraige is going to work.  We are going today to tell our family and going to the doc to get something to mask his withdrawal symptoms, as he quit 5 days ago.  He has enrolled in a 21 day rehab clinic.  He starts that beginning of January.  So he will be gone for 3 weeks...good break for me!  I feel like i have to watch him 24/7 and i have a life too!  I am really frustrated, but i am trying to be there for him the best i can.  This is the second time i have found out.  He has been lying to me about it for a long time.  He seems sincere in his quest to stop.  I just don't understand addiction, although it runs in my family.  I can only understand it from my point of view, having being hurt by it over and over again by many people.  Please help me understand this, so i can calm down and be more supportive.  
Wishing you all luck and happiness,
75 Responses
Avatar universal
the only way to under stand it is to go to alanon or narnon
meetins where spouses like yourself talk about
people like us, addicts.
one thing i can tell you is you can not trust him untill he
gets better
Avatar universal
If he's 'serious' about quitting, your support is ideal. I know you have a life too...If its an ongoing issue, its hard to keep supporting. I am lucky enough to have a supportive partner but THERE IS A LINE. You have to draw that line or he will take advantage of your support and you will lose his respect. If you can both come through this together, it will make you a stronger couple but put yourself first.
Luck to you.
Avatar universal
I recently learned that my recovery addict boyfriend was getting high on prescribed nerve pills, so he said.  I found a hypo needle and a spoon with residue in his pocket.  He has been going to a clinic for 1 year to take a dose of methadone to help with his recovery.  I believe the methadone only keeps him from having withdrawals from using heroin.  I need to know a way to approach this situation.  Any suggestions?

Desepartely seeking answers.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your comments....they are really appreciated.  I can't talk to anyone about this because they either don't understand or I don't know if i can trust them.  This is what i have learned today.  Methadone is not the answer.  This is just another addictive drug.  We are talking with family, he is taking hot baths, lots of rest, and lots of Rub A535!  One day at a time.  We are going to our doctor tonight to get his heart rate looked at and to see if he is going to be o.k.  Thanks for the suggestions on books.  I am in school right now for Psychology...and so a good book will help me out a lot.  Also, i am planning on going to see someone about this...i just want to get him into the clinic first, so that i am free to leave the house without worrying about him.  I know that sounds like i am putting him first...and maybe i am...but it is for my own sanity right now.  I was also thinking of making him do random drug tests, so i know for sure if he is off them.  Is this healthy?  I don't want to drive him to do them again...but I think this will be the only way i will be able to trust him again.  Anyways, i am going to be coming here alot in the next couple of months....because it makes me feel better about our situation...and that we are not alone.  
For the addicts in here...I don't think you realize how many people love you and care about you....find those people and tell them what is wrong and they will support you.  You just need to be honest with them.  
Thanks again for listening and caring to reply
Avatar universal
First, i think you need to start a new post...because people will notice yours if they read through mine and you might get a better response if you make a fresh one.  
Anyways, i don't know what to tell ya.  If you are asking how do you approach him?  I would just tell him what you found and tell him it is time to get honest with himself.  I mean you have the evidence...what more do you need?  If you are asking how do you deal with his problem?  I am going through a similar thing...so i am not one to give advice...but read what has been written to me and that may help you too.  Does he want to stop?  Is he willing to give up drugs altogether forever?  
Anyways, hope to hear from you again
Avatar universal
Didn't mean to impose on your post.  Just looking for some answers.  Your right I have the evidence and I did confront him.
No I don't think he wants to quit.  Which is why haven't seen in 5 days.  I guess the only thing I can do now is pray for him.  This is all so new to me.
Thanking you again for your comment.
Avatar universal
I am sorry...i didn't mean you were imposing on me.  Not at all.  I just want you to get as many answers as you can...and i think if you did your own you would get more answers..that is all.  So sorry if it came across that way.  Anyways, to start your own..go to the screen where it lists off all the topics under the addiction forum...and go to Post a Question...that will highlight your question on the forum and hopefully get more of a response.  I will keep posting you...and maybe we can help each other out.  
Take Care
Avatar universal
I don't know if you are still around .... but I would like to share observations on ultram. I can't get a straight answer about ultram withdrawal, and I have been all over the internet.
How are you doing with it? I have been using it for 2 years under doctors orders. My doctor said it wasn't habit forming ... what a crock! Anyway .... I'm planning to switch to vicodin for 2 or 3 weeks in hopes of getting ultram out of my system. Do you have any suggestions? I'm getting kind of nervous about it.
Avatar universal
Thanks Mike, You are right about the drug testing idea...and i knew that...i am just lost for answers right now.  I am afraid that this is not going to work and that we will be right back in this situation a year from now.  But i can't control him....or help him.  I just love him and don't want to leave him, and i know if this happens again...i will have no choice but to.  I guess i just want to make sure it doesn't come to that.  
Thanks again,
P.S.  Are you a recovering addict?  
Avatar universal
Thought I'd chime in with my two cents worth after reading your previous response.  In my opinion, you're right. Methadone for a Tylenol 3 habit shouldn't be an option. Re-hab (if he commits to it) is a great start.  They'll give him the tools he'll need, but he has to use them.
As far as you requiring random drug tests, well... that's your business.  But, know that it is a fine line you're walking.  If you've been around his use long enough, then you're sure to have feelings like anger and betrayal, especially if he hid it from you.  I can understand your idea and how you think it would help you know if he's using or not.  Fact is, there are ways around those.  So, while it's possible for you to monitor him in that way, I would advise against it.  Basically, you'd trade a false sense of knowing he is not (or is) using with the resentment he would feel for being put through that.  Is that a good trade off?  It's a call you and him have to decide on.
Alanon or Naranon are good places for you to go to both understand this issue as well as work out any resentment, anger and betrayal you may be feeling.  The last thing you want to do is inadvertantly add to the problem by demanding things from a person that is having a hard time helping himself.
Remember:  Addiction is not a disease of the weak, but a disease of the soul.  And it's hard to help yourself when you don't know you're in trouble.  Try kindness and an attempt to understand that he needs help in helping himself.

I wish you and your loved one the best life has to offer.

Avatar universal
good morning,
i have taken ultram and it is no fun getting off of,
the withdrawls are a real pain.
but i must say my experence with the withdrawls from
]vikes and percs is worse.
sounds like you are useing vikes to get off of ultram.
now that is a situation. its like useing wiskey to get off beer.
i did it the other way around, i used the ultracet
to hepl me
wean off the vikes,one reason was ultam and ultracet never made me feel good at all, and it was easier not to do.
where the vikes gave me energy and a false sense of well being.
for a while.

well i hope it go's well
Avatar universal
I have been using Ultram for just 6 weeks now due to a back injury.  I agree that you cannot just stop taking it.  I have talked to my doctor and he does not agree that it is addictive, I would like him to try it out and see what happens.  Anyway, I have taken as perscribed and am up to 6 a day, I talked to a nurse who used to work in detox and she gave me a schedule to follow to stop using them. 6 for 2 days, 5 for 2 days 4 for 2 days 3 for 2 days 2 for 2 days and then 1 for a couple of days.  She said the last dose to cut out is the morning dose at least for me, that is when I wake up shaky.  I don't know if this will help you, I don't know how many you are using.  I also go to AA and NA and dislike this feeling of having a pill controlling my day, been there done that, so I am ready to deal with some pain and get off the ****.  Again, I am not a medical professional but this is the plan that I am following for the next couple of weeks, so far it's going okay, for me it's just a matter of getting adjusted to each decrease in dose and that can take a while.  If your ready and willing to go through what it takes I know it can be done, I had a morphene/speed habit that was up to about 40 pills a day, ended up in a straightjacket, but I made it through.  I no longer want this disease to take up my life and the life of those around me, I know it scarey but it can be done.  Hope I helped, I will be praying for you........

Avatar universal
Hi Wifeofanaddict,
I hope the responses you've gotten have been helpful. One piece of feedback though, this forum only allows two new questions a day, and in the two years I've been posting here, I've never been able to start a new topic on my own.  So, it is our own decorumn to sometimes have to politely include a new comment or thread within an already started thread. Most of the time there is just no other way to get heard.

I agree that talking with other addicts and partners and friends of other addicts is extremely helpful to someone in your position. I don't agree that the only way is through the 12 step programs of alanon or naranon.  I never used the 12 step programs and have been clean over a year. My husband stood by me, and learned what he needed to know by reading and talking one on one with the spouses of other addicts in recovery.

But, there are many ways to the same goal. Find what works for you, and follow it. Many people get a ton of help from alanon and naranon. My only issue was that someone said it was the only way.   I am not sure that I believe only reading a few books is the only way either. I think reading can be very helpful, but talking to those of us who have been there, however you manage to do that, has been what has worked for most people.

I wish you well in this journey. He does have to choose to stop and to come totally clean with you. There is a lot of trust that has to be rebuilt.  Not only am I a recovering addict, but I'm also a Psychotherapist, so while I am not an MD Doctor, I do know a little bit of what I'm talking about when I talk about communication and trust building skills.  It is not an easy road. It took my husband a long time to trust me again, but then again , I put him through hell.

Good luck to you, and please keep us posted. We will do what we can to help you understand this process.

Avatar universal
How are you doing?  Where are you at on your schedule bud?  Just checkin' in on you.

Avatar universal
Thanks Again Everyone.
Sorry again about the whole posting thing.  Again, i will say i just thought it best for Denice to start a new one...because she would get more of a response.  I thought that people would only read what was highlighted and no further.  Just trying to help...but i guess it sounded rude.  Didn't mean it that way.  I actually was trying to be polite....but i guess it wasn't taken that way.  ONCE AND FOR ALL I WOULD LIKE TO SAY
Avatar universal
Sorry to jump in on this thread...I've been in detox for the past few days.  I had to go into the hospital.  I ran out of Bup before the holidays with no hope of getting more at the time.  I couldn't take the sickness that followed.  Now I am feeling weak and depressed...don't let anyone kid ya about Buprenex.  It kicked my ass.

Thanks to those to emailed me...I appreciate your words, and I'll write back when I feel a little better.  Just typing these words are difficult...
Avatar universal
Hang in there and we'll be praying for you...

Avatar universal
Hang tough girl.  If someone like me can hang strong, so can you.  As promised, if there is anything I can do for you, I will.
All I can think of now is to pray for your fast recovery and send you good vibes.
Take my hand and we'll walk the walk.  No one has to do it alone.

All the best,
Avatar universal
Thinking about you and hoping your trip is going well and you're feeling better...

Avatar universal
Hi, just wondering if you meant that response for me?  My husband is addicted to Codiene...is Xanax the same thing?  I am confused now.  Thanks for the advice.
Avatar universal
Hi Mariposa - glad you see you back.  I missed ya - hope you're doing better.  Peace/Love, Lisabet
Avatar universal
Sorry it took so long to get back to you.  Yes, I am a recovering addict from a 10+ year methadone habit.  Today, is Day 30 for me, tommorrow will be 31.  So far, I am successful because; 1. I took accountability for my own actions, 2. I sought help when I realized I was powerless over this disease and 3. FANTASTIC people online (including here) that walked before me and shared their experiences which lessened my concern.
DISCLAIMER:  I chose to leave out "My Higher Power" (which is Jesus Christ) above.  While my belief was extremely instrumental in my own recovery, some choose not to go that route.  It doesn't make me right or them wrong.  Different strokes, that's all.
WitchyWoman is right about considering different paths to help yourself.  A lot of people do get help from Alanon or Naranon, but for some, they take a different path and are equally successful.  I guess what we all are trying to say is do what works for YOU.
IF your husband is in a 21 day in-patient program right now, he is probably realizing that he is not alone in his struggles.  There are COUNTLESS people in the same boat as he is.  For me, that was a comforting thing once I came to the conclusion that I was no different than everyone else.  Additionally, I would suspect that the program he is in will have what they call, "Family Week".  If they do, DO NOT MISS THAT.  It is your opportunity to understand what he is up against and (equally important) what YOU have had happen to you, why and how you can begin to fix the hurt that has been present.
I can only speak of my own experiences during my addiction.  I was very selfish with feelings and was completely oblivious to the fact that others saw me going downhill fast.  Here I was, going through life thinking I kept a secret from everyone that I was on methadone.  When I got out of in-patient, I was quite a bit concerned about what "others would think of me" which is one of the manifestations of this disease.  Once I finally decided to not care what they thought, I told them and found that (for the most part) everyone was very supportive and that everyone that knew me thought I had a HELL of a Coke habit.  Funny... I never touched it in my life.  But... it goes to show you, when in active addiction, perception of your surrounding world being OK is only that.  An ill-conceived perception.
Like him, you too will have issues to deal with.  It is natural when you love someone and wish there was SOMETHING you could do.  No matter how hard you try, no matter what you say or do, you just can't seem to get anywhere.  And to find out that he hid it from you is yet another thing to deal with.  For him to go in-patient DOES show commitment on his part.  Give him credit for that giant step.  IMHO, the trick (as you eluded to in your previous post) of not going "right back to where you are a year from now", is to have all the tools you will need in place.  Tools can range from set councelling sessions, Alumni checking on his status, others that have "been there done that" walking WITH him as a sort of check and balance, YOUR councelling and small steps that include acknowledgement of the accomplishments along the way, no matter how small.  IMHO, emphasizing the POSITIVES is a great way to keep the negatives at bay.
While he's getting help, get help yourself.  One way or another.  Whatever works for you.

God Bless,
Avatar universal
Hi there... I relate to your post because I've walked several miles in your shoes.  I stood beside an addict as he took himself to hell and back several times.  Its a difficult battle for *everyone* involved.  

My suggestion to you would be that you go to a 12-step program for yourself.  I know that these programs aren't for everyone and can accept that, but I know that Al-Anon has been a LIFE & SANITY SAVER for me.

The 1st time the addict in my life went through inpatient treatment, I played a very active role in the process.  I wanted to be as supportive as possible.  I took vacation time so I could attend Family Week and went to visit him and give enouragement every chance I got.  I an grateful for that process because through it, I found Al-Anon...  Unfortunately, he didn't get as much out of it as I did and was soon using again.

The next year, I was shocked to find that his drug use was out of control again.  He tried to commit suicide.  Fortunately, I got him to the hospital in time.  Again, I was 100% supportive...  unfortunately, he started using again soon after being released from the psych ward.

I STILL stayed by him and tried to help him as he went through TERRIBLE withdrawals again and again... it was agony to watch him put himself through such torture.

Finally, his use hit an all-time bottom.  He wasn't even the person I'd known and loved....  I still cared for him VERY much, but we had very little contact.  He spiraled downward faster than I could have ever imagined possible.  And you know what??? I just stood back and watched it happen.  I finally came to the point where I realized that the ONLY thing I could do was live a happy (drug free) life and hope that he'd see something in me that he wanted for himself.

He's in inpatient treatment again now.  Although I love him VERY much, I'm not playing an active role in that process this time.  It was draining my energies to get so involved in that...  time for me to put the focus back on caring for myself.  I pray each morning and each night that he'll beat this thing.  Right now, I'm just grateful that he's still alive.

I guess my point is that no matter how much you love someone, you can't beat drugs for them.  I know you already know that (I did too), but I also know that it is VERY hard to accept.  

My thought on the UIs to prove that he's clean is this:  I don't want to be in a relationship where trust is based on the results of a test (which can be manipulate).  Trust is something that is either there or it isn't.  My guy actually offered to have tests like that done for my benefit.  I replied that I thought the tests were a good idea if he did them for HIMSELF.  I don't want to see the results.  His recovery is his and it isn't my place to monitor it.  

Hang in there.. you're not alone.
Avatar universal

Thanks for thinking of me. Well, here's where I am in my schedule.

10 day now off the Vicodin (Norco) - YAAHHHOOOO!
Still occasionally taking Tylenol 4 for pain, tapering on this down to 2/day, sometimes 1/day, shooting for 0/day by this Sat. This medicine, although a narcotic, is pratically useless, and pales in comaprison for pain relief with any of the big three. iT still can be addictive, though, so it's going next - Saturday is my 0-DAY

Next up, Ibuprofren 3 times a day, now down to two per day, shooting for 0 day, three weeks from Sat, Dec 28th in keeping with the 2003 sobriety challenge that so many here have accepted.

Excedrin for headaches only, was 4 day, now 2/day shooting for only for level 10 headaches when needed.

How are you doing?

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