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Help with husband's tramadol addiction
  1. #1
    NEWBIE07 is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Help with husband's tramadol addiction


    I am new to this so please bear with me as it's a long story!

    To start from the beginning, my husband suffers with a bad back. This has been going on for almost 6 years. He started out with being prescibed diclofenac and paracetamol, to which he took so much it lost it's effect. Then we progressed to co-codamol, again the same problem. Then came the tramadol.

    He started on small doses, then worked his way up slowly-so slowly that I didn't see it happen until it slapped me in the face 12months ago, when I stood back and realised what had happened. Slowly but surely, my husband had changed into a man I didn't know. He was withdrawn-barely locked into a conversation with me, his labido had almost gone, he sweat like a pig- takes out a bath towel just to walk half a mile up the street so he can wipe the sweat. He urinates 7/8 times a night-if he can-spends about 30 mins attempting to go!

    He wasnt waking up for work (maybe once or twice a week), problem was that I work full time also so my sick mother was taking our daughter to school each morning then she would be raving to find out he had been in bed all day.

    Anyway when I clocked what happened, I snapped and basically said he needs to sort this out or that's it. So we decided he would be a stay at home dad and i would work overtime to cover the bills and he could do the school runs (keep Mum happy) and he could concentrate on getting his drug habit sorted and it would ease the pain of his back (Maybe even get an op).

    This was a big mistake. It got 20x worse. He was now taking 30-40 a DAY!!

    Maybe it was because I was working so much (50-70hrs a wk) or maybe it was because everytime I attempted to strike up a conversation about it, I was always met with "you don't understand-you never will" so in the end, I gave up trying to talk. I convinced myself eveyday I was in a happy marriage, but really on the inside I was imagining waking up to my husband dead next to me or him not picking our daughter up from school.

    I can't say that he ever was a bad father, because he's not in fact school reports came in that said she had excellent attendance and punctuality-which is more than what she got when I was taking her!! Also he's never been violent, just very moody.

    So at this point he would do the school run, come back and go to bed for the rest of the day, then pick her up and do chores. This is all great, but as a wife, I need intimacy and a relationship, not just an existence.

    So anyway the Dr put him on a suboxone detox 4 weeks ago. He told me he needed me more than ever to get through it.

    However three days into this horrific detox, I snapped and left him. Seeing my husband lying in the fetal position on the sofa sweating, shaking vomitting and snapping at anyone that even looked at him- I decided I had had enough. I couldnt see an end to the situation. I saw it as another set of drugs that our family had to put up with.

    For my husband this came as a shock. Like I say, I had given up talking about it so I didnt tell him how unhappy I was (However a year ago I did tell him this was his final chance). But I snapped.

    I stayed at my Mum's for three weeks. During this time he reduced his Suboxone dose and is now on 2mg. He has done amazingly and I am very proud of him. I returned to the marital home.

    The problem I have is he does not understand where I am coming from. In fact he has said on many occassions "you left me at the time I needed you most, I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive you" and "I didn't hit you, hurt you or be nasty to you-I didn't do anything-YOU left this marriage, I didn't do anything".

    So I know that he still doesn't understand what he put the family through. putting up with the shakes, sweats, the ocd, the 2days of our holiday ruined because he didn't have any tramadol-having to visit the spanish GP and beg for some (as well as me paying £50), the feeling desperately alone in the marriage, the endless nights of worry, the lack on intimacy, the lack of conversation, the lack of social events, the disappearance of the bubbly loving man I married!

    How do I make him see that? Is it the Suboxone still blind sighting him? I understand what he's going through (well, I empathise, I apparently don't understand). and I COMPLETELY understand that underlying is his bad back, which is the catalyst and is still very much apparent.

    I just need outside advice please. Should I end it? Is it going to get worse? Anyone been in a similar situation? Will I ever get back the man I loved, or has he changed forever?

  2. #2
    emmafrost is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014


    I am so sorry to hear about your situation, I'm not married, but my adoptive father was a drug addict.

    From experience, I would say that you should stick it out. However if you are truly unhappy, the decision is ultimately yours. He is obviously trying to get better, and he does need you. That is amazing in itself. But relationships are complicated. If you don't think that you can continue to be part of his recovery because it's too much stress for YOU, then you have every right to leave, just be careful.

    My daddy was a great man. Better than any of the multiple father's I had, even my biological one who might as well be nothing more than a sperm donor. He had his own company, was very attentive, and spoiled my mom and I like crazy. Even when he got hooked on Cocaine there was no change in his behavior, he just spent more time in the bathroom snorting it.

    My mom of course had enough. This was not her first relationship that involved addiction. She decided to leave him when she discovered how grueling the detox process was for him.

    Now daddy is clean, mom is remarried. She has told me multiple times that if daddy had told her he was clean before she got engaged, she would have went back to him. He really was a stand up guy.

    Don't do something you will regret but on the other hand do something that will make you happy. This advice sucks and I apologize for that, but your husband is making an effort. However, like I have said many times YOUR happiness and wellbeing and health is the most important thing. You will receive no judgement from anyone regardless of your decision, I just suggest that you sit down and think of all of the pros and cons when it comes to staying or leaving.

    I wish you and your husband the best of luck!
    NEWBIE07 and silverlining1 like this.

  3. #3
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    Welcome Newbie,

    Oh boy. What a mess. I'm so sorry. I know both sides of addiction only too well. Which do I address first?

    I am a recovering addict (almost 5 years). The jargon your husband is using, giving YOU the guilt trip--don't for a minute buy into that. That is an addict's thoughts and until he takes responsibility for the destruction he has created, he isn't ready to get clean. My opinion, but fairly widely accepted I think. Subs to detox from Tramadol? I'm shocked actually. I wish you'd found this site before that happened. I've never been able to taper, and never used Tramadol but I have read enough about them to believe that a cold turkey from Tram is dangerous so that leaves only a taper method. Just my opinion again and of little use now is that it's like letting a lion loose to catch a mouse. Subs are incredibly strong opiate and even harder to get clean from then most any other opiate and again, the only way is to do a proper taper.

    The other side: My son is a very active opiate addict. He's on his second full day as an inpatient at detox and hopefully from there to rehab. I know exactly what living with someone you love but is an addict. Horrific. My son and I have a very honest relationship. Most (I'm sure not always) he's entirely honest with me. I've had so much practice with this that I know what he's going to say before he says it when it comes to using or getting clean. And...he really wants to get clean. The excuses to use are long gone and have been for some time now and he owns his addiction. Getting clean and staying that way continues to be a problem though. Hopefully, this will shed some light on the subject.

    Bottom line--it won't be until he owns his addiction that he'll have a chance of staying clean if and when he gets there. You can't do this recovery business for anyone except for yourself. My opinion, you did the right thing by leaving. Take care of you and let him take care of him. That's hard, I know it too well. We just feel guilty about bailing out but don't. You absolutely can't do a thing to help him and in fact, by you being there to carry the burden of supporting the household financially, you are just making it all the easier for him to continue to use. He needs to wake up and understand what's it like to stand on his own two feet.

    The back issues. Yeah. I get it. I have those too and pretty severely at that. I won't have surgery because I'm more afraid of being prescribed opiates than I am of enduring the discomfort. The fact is that once the opiates clear and your brain begins to re-fire correctly, the chemistry will take care of a large part of the pain and we can supplement that will ordinary over the counter pain relievers. I didn't believe that at all when I read that early in recovery but I have to tell you, it's a fact just one that we have to experience for ourselves.

    The road to recovery means putting in all the effort we did to use into not using. As simple as that.

    Good luck, sweetie. Keep us posted.


    NEWBIE07 and silverlining1 like this.

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