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Help! I've just found out my partner is addicted to Codeine
  1. #1
    Ellejay is offline New Member
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    Default Help! I've just found out my partner is addicted to Codeine

    I've been with my partner for around 12 months and recently discovered he's addicted to codeine. I had a suspicion something wasn't quite right for some time. He seemed ok one day then emotionally and mentally absent the next. I found empty packets of nurofen plus in the garbage which he had snuck out.
    I knew confronting him hard would not help. I just told him I knew what was going on and that I needed him to help answer some questions for me.
    Because my brother is a recovering Ice addict I knew addressing it a certain way wouldn't work, and I think it's part of the reason why I knew because I can tell when he's on it and then withdrawing.
    Anyway he told me he's been using again for a few months. He's been on and off it for 10 yrs +. His previous relationship/marriage of 11 years broke down due to it. I'm sure when we met he was clean. He's been able to quit but then falls back into the drugs. He's never been truely off it.
    I guess I'm writing to find out what's best to do in this situation? I want to help him but ultimately I know it's up to him to get his life, mind and body together. What can I do to ensure he can withdraw properly and with the best support to stay off it. I want to ensure I take care of myself and don't let things out of my control ruin his progress. I have two children of my own from a previous marriage which he had formed a lovely bond with. I guess I have a lot a stake if he continues. I don't want to lose him, I don't want to leave him in his time of need but most importantly I don't want him to go to far and lose him forever.

  2. #2
    Ellejay is offline New Member
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    Why is no one replying to my question?

  3. #3
    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellejay View Post
    Why is no one replying to my question?
    Sorry no one has replied yet, it's very slow in the forums on the weekends and especially now with the holidays around!

    I'll leave you a couple of threads to read through that will answer a lot of your questions and concerns?

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/pain-kil...elp-72165.html

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/prescrip...elp-72303.html

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/pain-kil...ers-41832.html

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/need-tal...elp-72397.html

    Your situation is unfortunately very common and there are many, many more threads like these around the forums that you can read up on?

    Keep us updated? I wish you the best of luck and I hope he will get and stay clean? Take care... God bless us all!

  4. #4
    Sserts is offline New Member
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    I can tell you a few things, keep in mind I am on my own rollercoaster ride. But my wife is my reason for breathing and her support of me is my rock. From what it sounds like to me, (and this is a guess) he was probably on them when you met. Addiction is easy to hide, I know from experience. Coming off not so much.

    The first big thing, he needs to want to change. If he doesn't there is nothing you can do! Keep in mind I am on the opposite side of the coin but if he cares about the drugs more I would say protect the kids! I hear a lot that admitting you have a problem is the hardest thing! Well Bull>>>>! Everyone who has bought it off the street, everyone who has ever knocked out a script in a day or so. Know they have a problem!!

    Has as far as an opinion on what you should do would you mind answering a few questions.

    1. Do you guys live together?
    2. Do you have and children together?
    3. Does he work?

    I will try to help you if I can in anyway. A really nice guy on these forums has been my savior

  5. #5
    Ellejay is offline New Member
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    Thank you for your reply. Only being new to here I thought maybe I had posted wrong or something. I will take a look at the threads you linked. I appreciate it.

  6. #6
    Ellejay is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sserts View Post
    I can tell you a few things, keep in mind I am on my own rollercoaster ride. But my wife is my reason for breathing and her support of me is my rock. From what it sounds like to me, (and this is a guess) he was probably on them when you met. Addiction is easy to hide, I know from experience. Coming off not so much.

    The first big thing, he needs to want to change. If he doesn't there is nothing you can do! Keep in mind I am on the opposite side of the coin but if he cares about the drugs more I would say protect the kids! I hear a lot that admitting you have a problem is the hardest thing! Well Bull>>>>! Everyone who has bought it off the street, everyone who has ever knocked out a script in a day or so. Know they have a problem!!

    Has as far as an opinion on what you should do would you mind answering a few questions.

    1. Do you guys live together?
    2. Do you have and children together?
    3. Does he work?

    I will try to help you if I can in anyway. A really nice guy on these forums has been my savior
    Thank you Sserts,
    Technically we don't live together. He owns a house with his ex-wife still which is currently on the market. His furniture and such are there but when he's not at work he is at my place. Which is quite a lot. I would say he lives with me but not 'officially'.
    No we don't have any children together, I have 2 children who are 5 and 7 from my previous marriage. I have them 50/50 with their dad.
    And yes he does work. He is a residential care worker and does a lot of night shifts.
    When you say protect the kids, what do you mean exactly? My children are everything to me and I would hate to feel like I am doing something to hurt them by supporting him and trying to help.
    He has told me he doesn't want to do it. He has admitted that he finds it difficult to just stop because of how sick it makes him. I thought that tapering off them would help? But I have no clue. I understand that things take time.

  7. #7
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Welcome Ellejay!

    You have found a wonderful place to get real world information and outstanding support. Keep reading and posting here and it will help you no matter what your bf decides to do. Members here have or are experiencing the same situation as you. In my case, I found this Forum in late 2009 and got clean early in January of 2010 for what I pray was my last time. I give much credit to the support I received here from both those who walked before me and those who were in the midst of their own journeys. Some just beginning and others further down the road than I. To get the most benefit, I found it important to read as much as I could here, post as often as I possibly could and to this day, remain as active as I can to try and pay it forward. On the flip side, I have an adult son who is an active H addict.

    When Sserts suggested that you protect your children, I'm sure he meant that being around an active addict isn't healthy for anyone and most especially, it's just not good to expose children to it. I know your children are young, but you just might be surprised how much they notice. They are effected by your angst and undoubtedly notice the mood swings of your bf. At their ages, they probably don't know why Mom is worried and unhappy nor why your bf's behavior changes for what seems to them for no reason. Often they begin to believe that it's something they've done. There simply is no way to shield children from this no matter how hard we try or how well we think we're able to do it.

    Do you know how much per day he is taking? Any guesses? Once an addict, relapse is but one pill away no matter how much clean time you have behind you. Fear of being sick from withdrawal is the number one reason in most cases that addicts continue to use. Each detox becomes more difficult mentally. Tapering lessens the physical symptoms, obviously but most will tell you that it is also the hardest thing to do. Some people, in an effort to help takes charge of the pills and will ration them out. This sounds like a good plan but unless he's committed to getting clean, that plan has plenty of its own pitfalls including putting an even bigger strain on your relationship. The thing to keep in mind is that this is his journey and it's his job. Not your's. It takes enormous self discipline and let's face it, if we as addicts had a ton of self discipline, we wouldn't be in this spot in the first place. I'm a strong advocate of cold turkey detox. I've done it more times than I can count and I can attest to the fact that it is NO fun. However, it isn't dangerous, and both the timeline and symptoms are very predictable for short acting opiates like codeine. The worst of the physical discomfort is done around Day 5. Depending upon how much he's taking daily, he may have to take a few days off from work. The mental aspect of recovery post detox takes a bit more time and varies from person to person but no one will avoid it. The most persistent is trouble sleeping and anxiety that in my opinion is closely related to cravings.

    There's a very fine line between supporting him and enabling him. I know from experience, that my own recovery was not as difficult as trying to support/help my son. My heart breaks for you because it really is such an impossible situation. YOU have no control over this. No matter what options you roll around in your mind, most often it becomes a dead end. The best and only thing you can do for him is to allow him to suffer the consequences of his addiction and I know exactly how hard that is to do. This includes stopping yourself from making excuses for him to others Do you have a family member or close friend with whom you can confide? I know this is hard to do at first because we're so worried about others making judgement. Remember, though that this is just as hard on you as it is on him and in some ways harder. You need support.

    I would suggest to you that you think hard about setting some boundaries but make sure that they are things that you can and will follow through with by telling him the consequences of stepping over a boundary. It is more harmful if you set a boundary, he violates it, and you don't follow through. You may as well toss that plan in the trash if you can't stand firm. If you haven't already, you need to tell him that your didn't sign up for you and your children to share your lives with an addict. Tell him you understand that this is difficult for him, but it's not impossible. Be careful to not say things in a way that makes it sound like ultimatums. No one responds well to that. Just the facts. I can also tell you from experience that if he has reached the point that he has become careless about leaving empty packages where you are apt to find them, he is likely more progressed in his addiction than what you want to believe.

    I know you love him and you don't want to lose him. I know that you worry about what would happen to him if you turned him out. I know these fears. The reality is that if you can't change him or do his work for him. What you can do is to take care of you and your children by refusing to sacrifice the mental health of any of you. You may not be ready to give up on him but unless things change quickly, the one thing I can promise you is that his use and this mess will progress. It ALWAYS does. So if things are bad now, trust me, they can and will get worse. Recovery is an all or nothing thing. "I'm not using as much" just doesn't cut it. Either an addict is using or they're not. That statement is the simplest part of all of this.

    If you want to support him, support him in recovery and I'd tell him that in that exact way. Make him chicken soup while he detoxes. Be compassionate when he's sick and try to be patient when he's short tempered so long as he's not abusive. Every single time I detoxed, I just wanted to be left alone. I didn't want anyone of hover. I don't know how he is when he's not feeling well so just be aware. If he wants to talk, talk. If you can get him interested in a movie or something else to pass the time, do it. That's support. Don't try to do his work for him because you can't.

    I hope you keep posting. There's a ton of support and info here just for the asking.

    Peace,

    Cat
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  8. #8
    Ellejay is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catrina View Post
    Welcome Ellejay!

    You have found a wonderful place to get real world information and outstanding support. Keep reading and posting here and it will help you no matter what your bf decides to do. Members here have or are experiencing the same situation as you. In my case, I found this Forum in late 2009 and got clean early in January of 2010 for what I pray was my last time. I give much credit to the support I received here from both those who walked before me and those who were in the midst of their own journeys. Some just beginning and others further down the road than I. To get the most benefit, I found it important to read as much as I could here, post as often as I possibly could and to this day, remain as active as I can to try and pay it forward. On the flip side, I have an adult son who is an active H addict.

    When Sserts suggested that you protect your children, I'm sure he meant that being around an active addict isn't healthy for anyone and most especially, it's just not good to expose children to it. I know your children are young, but you just might be surprised how much they notice. They are effected by your angst and undoubtedly notice the mood swings of your bf. At their ages, they probably don't know why Mom is worried and unhappy nor why your bf's behavior changes for what seems to them for no reason. Often they begin to believe that it's something they've done. There simply is no way to shield children from this no matter how hard we try or how well we think we're able to do it.

    Do you know how much per day he is taking? Any guesses? Once an addict, relapse is but one pill away no matter how much clean time you have behind you. Fear of being sick from withdrawal is the number one reason in most cases that addicts continue to use. Each detox becomes more difficult mentally. Tapering lessens the physical symptoms, obviously but most will tell you that it is also the hardest thing to do. Some people, in an effort to help takes charge of the pills and will ration them out. This sounds like a good plan but unless he's committed to getting clean, that plan has plenty of its own pitfalls including putting an even bigger strain on your relationship. The thing to keep in mind is that this is his journey and it's his job. Not your's. It takes enormous self discipline and let's face it, if we as addicts had a ton of self discipline, we wouldn't be in this spot in the first place. I'm a strong advocate of cold turkey detox. I've done it more times than I can count and I can attest to the fact that it is NO fun. However, it isn't dangerous, and both the timeline and symptoms are very predictable for short acting opiates like codeine. The worst of the physical discomfort is done around Day 5. Depending upon how much he's taking daily, he may have to take a few days off from work. The mental aspect of recovery post detox takes a bit more time and varies from person to person but no one will avoid it. The most persistent is trouble sleeping and anxiety that in my opinion is closely related to cravings.

    There's a very fine line between supporting him and enabling him. I know from experience, that my own recovery was not as difficult as trying to support/help my son. My heart breaks for you because it really is such an impossible situation. YOU have no control over this. No matter what options you roll around in your mind, most often it becomes a dead end. The best and only thing you can do for him is to allow him to suffer the consequences of his addiction and I know exactly how hard that is to do. This includes stopping yourself from making excuses for him to others Do you have a family member or close friend with whom you can confide? I know this is hard to do at first because we're so worried about others making judgement. Remember, though that this is just as hard on you as it is on him and in some ways harder. You need support.

    I would suggest to you that you think hard about setting some boundaries but make sure that they are things that you can and will follow through with by telling him the consequences of stepping over a boundary. It is more harmful if you set a boundary, he violates it, and you don't follow through. You may as well toss that plan in the trash if you can't stand firm. If you haven't already, you need to tell him that your didn't sign up for you and your children to share your lives with an addict. Tell him you understand that this is difficult for him, but it's not impossible. Be careful to not say things in a way that makes it sound like ultimatums. No one responds well to that. Just the facts. I can also tell you from experience that if he has reached the point that he has become careless about leaving empty packages where you are apt to find them, he is likely more progressed in his addiction than what you want to believe.

    I know you love him and you don't want to lose him. I know that you worry about what would happen to him if you turned him out. I know these fears. The reality is that if you can't change him or do his work for him. What you can do is to take care of you and your children by refusing to sacrifice the mental health of any of you. You may not be ready to give up on him but unless things change quickly, the one thing I can promise you is that his use and this mess will progress. It ALWAYS does. So if things are bad now, trust me, they can and will get worse. Recovery is an all or nothing thing. "I'm not using as much" just doesn't cut it. Either an addict is using or they're not. That statement is the simplest part of all of this.

    If you want to support him, support him in recovery and I'd tell him that in that exact way. Make him chicken soup while he detoxes. Be compassionate when he's sick and try to be patient when he's short tempered so long as he's not abusive. Every single time I detoxed, I just wanted to be left alone. I didn't want anyone of hover. I don't know how he is when he's not feeling well so just be aware. If he wants to talk, talk. If you can get him interested in a movie or something else to pass the time, do it. That's support. Don't try to do his work for him because you can't.

    I hope you keep posting. There's a ton of support and info here just for the asking.

    Peace,

    Cat
    Hi Cat,

    Thank you so much for your reply. It is such a relief to be able to talk to someone about this. I don't really feel like I can talk to my family or friends about it for fear of judgement. To be honest it was only on New Year's eve that I started talking to my partner about it all. I was surprised at how open he was with me about it. And since then too he has dropped other walls and talked about other things with me. I don't know, but maybe me knowing is a relief to him. His ease of admittance was I think because he has been in this position and situation before with his ex-wife as well. But if I have never said anything it may be gone on and the sneakiness would have gotten worse I guess. Initially I was upset and hurt that he would purposely deceive me. But after reading a lot about addiction, it's just what they do. They aren't thinking about anything else but their next hit.

    Over the last few days it's just been the two of us spending time together as my children are with their Dad for school holidays. I know that when he pops out to get coffee or something he's looking for a pharmacy to get codeine. And I've told him I know that.The thing is, is that I'm not anything about it. I'm not angry, I'm not upset, I'm not anything. I don't know what that means. I care so much about him, I love him, but I really can't do anything about it.

    I haven't actually been witness or a victim of any mood swings or inappropriate behaviours by him. He is always calm and relaxed. Maybe a little erratic with certain things in a fun silly kinda way, but it kinda just seems like he's tipsy. He has never done anything in front of me or the kids for us to question anything being wrong or confused. He treats the kids as if they were his own. That's why I was worried about the 'protect your kids' comment. I have come from an abusive relationship with my ex-husband who is a narcissist. I made sure if there were any concerns with my partners behaviour or treatment of us I would be out of there quick smart. But he's been nothing but great for all of us. It's just like the elephant in the room. On a personal note I have done a lot of self discovery for myself after I left my ex-husband. I had to learn to be myself again, to find meaning and purpose in the world and be there for my children. I finally regained my identity. And it was only me who could do that. This and many other lessons I've learned from that awful time in my life and this has helped me appreciate and by empathetic to his situation.

    When I asked how much he was taking his reply was "lots". But I didn't enquire further into how much exactly. I found 2 packets of tablets the other day, just before I confronted him. One from 22nd Dec and another from the 25th Dec. I think he took the whole packet on each occasion, it's like 30 tablets in a box. I thought tapering off them would be a good option after he said that it was hard on him to go cold turkey. How do I suggest to him to go cold turkey? How do I suggest things without seeming like I want to control. I don't want to hold his money, and pills. He's a big boy and needs to do this on his own. I know that. I'm sure he's been through it all before. I just want to make a difference in his life to help him stay clean. You say that is can and will get much worse? This scares me. I have most definitely said that I understand the difficulty of this situation and at the same time said it's not impossible to overcome.
    I know I may sound so stupid. But what sort of boundaries would I set? I have said that I would not enable him and buy anything for him. I know I need to set boundaries now in regards to when the children are home. I definitely won't make any ultimatums.
    Can being on codeine affect someones driving? He drives a lot for work. Would he be breaking the law by driving under the influence?
    Should I suggest he join a forum like this?
    I can't tell you how appreciative I am for being able to talk to someone about all this and ask questions I have no idea about.
    Eagerly awaiting your reply.
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  9. #9
    Sserts is offline New Member
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    Not to get off subject here but...

    Cat,

    WOW!!!! That was just so... Perfect. I mean absolutely beautiful. I have read it 3 times so far today and it's just 9:45am. Between that and the line I received yesterday about how one pill is to much and 1000 Pills will never be enough! I know I have the strength to make it today!

    Now I am going to say something that is going to put me out there a bit more then I ever intended. However I am a national champion football player, (walk-on not scholarship) and my coach use to tell us all the time, every day be where your feet are! Now let me tell you how that can apply to You Ellejay as well or your bf, and maybe even Cat (even though I think you have it DOWN) I know I do not have the strength to stay in "recovery" for a week, month, year (it all scared me to death!) But I don't need that much strength! I need enough strength to get through the next minute, hour, day. With a lot of help from the people on this site I am finding it. I am also learning that helping others, helps me more then I could imagine!

    Cat, you are truly a beautiful person! Thank you for all the help you have given everyone!

    "Be where your feet are", coach Nick Saben

    Thanks!
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  10. #10
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Good Morning Ellejay,

    I was glad to see that you found my response and posted again. As I said, this is a wonderful place to get information from those that have been in the trenches and are willing to share what addiction feels like. The commonalities among us are actually pretty amazing so we can often times help you to understand our thought processes when we are in active addiction.

    Where do you live, Ellejay? I'm in the US and some of the things you mention leads me to believe that you are not. One of the first things that popped off the page for me was the fact that your partner is able to buy packets of codeine tablets at the pharmacy and it sounds to me like he doesn't need a prescription from a doctor to get them. This isn't the case in the US because we do need a prescription for them. I would imagine having easy and legal access would make things more difficult. I would love to believe that because I wanted to get clean so badly it wouldn't have mattered if I had this easy access. At the very least I know it would have made resisting them more difficult knowing they were just a short ride away during one of many weak moments. Many of us became addicted because of a legitimate medical issue so one of the very first things we suggest is to let our doctors know that we want to stop so that they won't prescribe to us because of what has become some lame reason and to mark our charts "No Opiates". We also have to disconnect from any and all our other sources by deleting phone numbers and cutting people from our lives that have been a source. For your partner, it isn't that simple when he can obtain them legally anytime he wants or needs to. It becomes even more of a matter of pure commitment and will power to not make that quick trip to the pharmacy when the going gets rough.

    You mentioned that you really don't have anyone to talk to about this face to face. I totally understand your reasons for being reluctant to do that. When we love someone, it's unbearable to know that someone else is going to pass judgement and the addict label may be quickly applied and it can't be not so easily removed. Support, however is so important for you. Can you find an ALANON meeting or something similar where you would remain anonymous? Even if you have to travel to get there to so that you're more confident that you won't run into someone you know would be worth the trip. Just meeting someone who is going through the same thing as you and is just a phone call away would be of great value to you. Please consider this.

    The fact that your partner didn't deny anything when you confronted him is a huge positive for the both of you. Unless you find a way to keep communication open, the situation will remain the elephant in the room and won't solve a darn thing. It's important that you discuss the situation It's hard but I know this is something that will not solve itself. Where does discussion and open communication morph into nagging? Remaining silent can easily be interpreted by him that you're OK with all of this. After all, he's good to you and you love him so he can believe that his codeine abuse is just a part of the package that you're willing to accept. Be careful not to confuse acceptance with avoidance. I'm sorry that I scared you by saying that if he doesn't quit, it will get worse but unfortunately, it's the truth. Addiction is a progressive disease. Our tolerance for opiates will just keep increasing. Before long, we need more just to avoid becoming sick. Our pills become the cure-all for everything. Tired? Take a pill. Angry? Take a pill. Annoyed? Take a pill. Want to chill tonight? Take a pill. They become our crutch to cope with life when we need it and they become our reward if we want or believe we deserve one. In spite of that, of all the addicts I've met here and in real life, I've never met one who regretted getting clean.

    You also mentioned that thus far he hasn't had any noticeable mood swings or inappropriate behavior. I suspect that this is because he hasn't been without his pills. God willing, when he makes the decision to get clean, you are apt to see the mood swings. It's some of the inevitable fall-out. Opiates replace many of the chemicals in our brains that a non-addict's brain will produce to combat ordinary pain, .such as a headache. They also flood our brain receptors with those feel good chemicals and our brains recognize that they don't have to produce their own so they stop. When we quit taking the opiates, all those receptors are stripped bare and it takes some time for our brain to recognize that it needs to wake up and to begin to produce those chemicals that is no longer being provided artificially with opiates. After the initial detox and newly clean, everything is out of balance so any physical pain (even the minor stuff) we have is felt to the fullest extent--even exaggerated (feels worse than it really is). We are also temporarily left without the chemicals that control our emotions causing some depression and anxiety. Everyone is a bit different and depending upon how much we were using and for how long, it takes some time for our brains to recover and begin to manufacture these chemicals on our own. It will happen, but in the meantime our moods and emotions are all over the place. In addition, I'm sure you are both aware of the damage these pills are doing to his body. At some point, it would be wise for him to have a full blood panel done to be sure nothing physical is out of whack.

    When the time comes and your partner is clean, the support you can give to him is your patience, understanding, and assurance that he will begin to feel better psychologically but only if he gives himself enough time to heal. It's important for him to know, however that your understanding and patience isn't giving him permission to use you as his psychological whipping boy but instead you are acknowledging that you know why he's being moody and that you're willing to hang in there so long as he's willing to hang in there too. You can't be afraid to speak up if he's taking a bad mood out on you. As a part of his recovery, he's going to have to be patient enough to give himself time level out and to relearn how to deal with life on life's terms. That's his job.

    This post is becoming entirely too long but I did want to tell you that suggesting he attempt a cold turkey may be a good way to open up those lines of communication. Offer to help him form a plan by setting the day and promising him that you will stay with him and do whatever you can to help however you can to make him more comfortable. The timeline for the acute physical symptoms is very predictable. Day 1 will likely be filled with anxiety and fear and around the 24-36 hour mark his symptoms will begin to peak and remain consistent from Days 2-4. He will begin to get some relief on Day 4 and should be much, much better on Day 5 or 6 (depending upon how much he's been using and for how long). He'll be left feeling weak and tired--much like he might feel after having had a bad flu. Given this timeline, and assuming he works Monday through Friday, I always suggest choosing a Friday as Day 1 and to do his best to go to work and somehow manage to get through it. WoGrk will help to keep his mind occupied. Then he'll have Saturday and Sunday when he'll really be in the thick of it and Monday will be his Day 4. He might need to miss work on Monday but with some determination he will probably be able to return to work on Tuesday or Wednesday. Even though he'll be tired, getting back to his work routine will be the very best thing he can do for himself.

    Let him know that you found this site while you were searching for information so that you could better understand what he's going through. Encourage him to spend some time here reading and suggest he create his own thread so that he can get some support from people who have or are going through the same thing as he. There are lots of suggestions to treat his symptoms in order to make things a little easier. Search this site for the Thomas Recipe. It's a list of supplements that you or he can get at most any grocery store or pharmacy that will provide some relief while detoxing. Let us know if he's willing to give cold turkey a try and we can give him some tips that will hopefully make him more comfortable. This is scary for him but it's also very doable. Five days of being sick is more than a fair price to get those shackles off.

    Good luck. I hope that something I've said to you today has helped even if it's just a little. Keep posting!!

    Peace,

    Cat
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  11. #11
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    P.S. I meant to mention to you that when taking opiates, you most certainly are impaired and shouldn't be driving. Again, depending upon where you live, I don't know the legal consequences but I'm sure there are some. Where I live, it would be the same violation as drinking alcohol and driving--"Under the Influence".

    Peace,

    Cat

  12. #12
    DravenDomnq is offline Advanced Member
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    Hey Ellejay, welcome to the forums! I read your thread earlier, but didn't have a chance to respond. I think Catrina, as always, has given some wonderful advice. I know I couldn't be getting off the meds without the support of my gf, and the fact you and your bf are communicating is so important. She supported me whether I wanted to listen to the doctors and stay on the meds, and was even more supportive in the fact that I made the decision to stop listening to them and just go cold turkey off of them.

    Your partner HAS to make the decision to go cold turkey, or taper off of the meds on his own, but having your support can make all the difference in the world for him. Some of the ways my gf has helped me that might give you some ideas is by always being there for me when I need her, or when I was detoxing by knowing when to leave me alone. She never hovered, or tried to do things I didn't want her to, but was always there for me when I needed her. Fixing me something to eat, making sure I had water or even sometimes just sitting next to me and understanding that I didn't want to be touched or even talk with her. Or if I just wanted to be in the other room by myself then she would leave me alone.

    She also made sure to remove all the alcohol from the house, and while she will occasionally have a drink when we go out, always makes sure to ask me if I'm all right with it since I stopped drinking as well as getting off the meds. While she has to be on some of the meds I got off of, she put them someplace out of sight and mind, and never takes them in front of me, or even talks about having them.

    Years ago I was in a relationship with an enabler that ended horribly, so the fact you want to be there and help him as you can is so fantastic. Hopefully he will continue talking to you and will understand what you're trying to do for him in being there for him, and how hard it can be on you and your children. The fact he's opening up and talking to you is a huge step in my opinion.

    I think it's great that you're posting here, and I hope you continue to do so and continue reading about other people's experiences. Know that there are some wonderful people on these forums who will help you however they can!
    Lvg nghtmare likes this.

  13. #13
    Krysmith78 is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Ellejay, I was following your thread before and was just wondering how things are going?

  14. #14
    Ellejay is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catrina View Post
    Good Morning Ellejay,

    I was glad to see that you found my response and posted again. As I said, this is a wonderful place to get information from those that have been in the trenches and are willing to share what addiction feels like. The commonalities among us are actually pretty amazing so we can often times help you to understand our thought processes when we are in active addiction.

    Where do you live, Ellejay? I'm in the US and some of the things you mention leads me to believe that you are not. One of the first things that popped off the page for me was the fact that your partner is able to buy packets of codeine tablets at the pharmacy and it sounds to me like he doesn't need a prescription from a doctor to get them. This isn't the case in the US because we do need a prescription for them. I would imagine having easy and legal access would make things more difficult. I would love to believe that because I wanted to get clean so badly it wouldn't have mattered if I had this easy access. At the very least I know it would have made resisting them more difficult knowing they were just a short ride away during one of many weak moments. Many of us became addicted because of a legitimate medical issue so one of the very first things we suggest is to let our doctors know that we want to stop so that they won't prescribe to us because of what has become some lame reason and to mark our charts "No Opiates". We also have to disconnect from any and all our other sources by deleting phone numbers and cutting people from our lives that have been a source. For your partner, it isn't that simple when he can obtain them legally anytime he wants or needs to. It becomes even more of a matter of pure commitment and will power to not make that quick trip to the pharmacy when the going gets rough.

    You mentioned that you really don't have anyone to talk to about this face to face. I totally understand your reasons for being reluctant to do that. When we love someone, it's unbearable to know that someone else is going to pass judgement and the addict label may be quickly applied and it can't be not so easily removed. Support, however is so important for you. Can you find an ALANON meeting or something similar where you would remain anonymous? Even if you have to travel to get there to so that you're more confident that you won't run into someone you know would be worth the trip. Just meeting someone who is going through the same thing as you and is just a phone call away would be of great value to you. Please consider this.

    The fact that your partner didn't deny anything when you confronted him is a huge positive for the both of you. Unless you find a way to keep communication open, the situation will remain the elephant in the room and won't solve a darn thing. It's important that you discuss the situation It's hard but I know this is something that will not solve itself. Where does discussion and open communication morph into nagging? Remaining silent can easily be interpreted by him that you're OK with all of this. After all, he's good to you and you love him so he can believe that his codeine abuse is just a part of the package that you're willing to accept. Be careful not to confuse acceptance with avoidance. I'm sorry that I scared you by saying that if he doesn't quit, it will get worse but unfortunately, it's the truth. Addiction is a progressive disease. Our tolerance for opiates will just keep increasing. Before long, we need more just to avoid becoming sick. Our pills become the cure-all for everything. Tired? Take a pill. Angry? Take a pill. Annoyed? Take a pill. Want to chill tonight? Take a pill. They become our crutch to cope with life when we need it and they become our reward if we want or believe we deserve one. In spite of that, of all the addicts I've met here and in real life, I've never met one who regretted getting clean.

    You also mentioned that thus far he hasn't had any noticeable mood swings or inappropriate behavior. I suspect that this is because he hasn't been without his pills. God willing, when he makes the decision to get clean, you are apt to see the mood swings. It's some of the inevitable fall-out. Opiates replace many of the chemicals in our brains that a non-addict's brain will produce to combat ordinary pain, .such as a headache. They also flood our brain receptors with those feel good chemicals and our brains recognize that they don't have to produce their own so they stop. When we quit taking the opiates, all those receptors are stripped bare and it takes some time for our brain to recognize that it needs to wake up and to begin to produce those chemicals that is no longer being provided artificially with opiates. After the initial detox and newly clean, everything is out of balance so any physical pain (even the minor stuff) we have is felt to the fullest extent--even exaggerated (feels worse than it really is). We are also temporarily left without the chemicals that control our emotions causing some depression and anxiety. Everyone is a bit different and depending upon how much we were using and for how long, it takes some time for our brains to recover and begin to manufacture these chemicals on our own. It will happen, but in the meantime our moods and emotions are all over the place. In addition, I'm sure you are both aware of the damage these pills are doing to his body. At some point, it would be wise for him to have a full blood panel done to be sure nothing physical is out of whack.

    When the time comes and your partner is clean, the support you can give to him is your patience, understanding, and assurance that he will begin to feel better psychologically but only if he gives himself enough time to heal. It's important for him to know, however that your understanding and patience isn't giving him permission to use you as his psychological whipping boy but instead you are acknowledging that you know why he's being moody and that you're willing to hang in there so long as he's willing to hang in there too. You can't be afraid to speak up if he's taking a bad mood out on you. As a part of his recovery, he's going to have to be patient enough to give himself time level out and to relearn how to deal with life on life's terms. That's his job.

    This post is becoming entirely too long but I did want to tell you that suggesting he attempt a cold turkey may be a good way to open up those lines of communication. Offer to help him form a plan by setting the day and promising him that you will stay with him and do whatever you can to help however you can to make him more comfortable. The timeline for the acute physical symptoms is very predictable. Day 1 will likely be filled with anxiety and fear and around the 24-36 hour mark his symptoms will begin to peak and remain consistent from Days 2-4. He will begin to get some relief on Day 4 and should be much, much better on Day 5 or 6 (depending upon how much he's been using and for how long). He'll be left feeling weak and tired--much like he might feel after having had a bad flu. Given this timeline, and assuming he works Monday through Friday, I always suggest choosing a Friday as Day 1 and to do his best to go to work and somehow manage to get through it. WoGrk will help to keep his mind occupied. Then he'll have Saturday and Sunday when he'll really be in the thick of it and Monday will be his Day 4. He might need to miss work on Monday but with some determination he will probably be able to return to work on Tuesday or Wednesday. Even though he'll be tired, getting back to his work routine will be the very best thing he can do for himself.

    Let him know that you found this site while you were searching for information so that you could better understand what he's going through. Encourage him to spend some time here reading and suggest he create his own thread so that he can get some support from people who have or are going through the same thing as he. There are lots of suggestions to treat his symptoms in order to make things a little easier. Search this site for the Thomas Recipe. It's a list of supplements that you or he can get at most any grocery store or pharmacy that will provide some relief while detoxing. Let us know if he's willing to give cold turkey a try and we can give him some tips that will hopefully make him more comfortable. This is scary for him but it's also very doable. Five days of being sick is more than a fair price to get those shackles off.

    Good luck. I hope that something I've said to you today has helped even if it's just a little. Keep posting!!

    Peace,

    Cat
    Hi Cat,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such an amazing reply. Your kindness and openness is so much appreciated. In response to your message this is my current update:

    So I live in Australia and codeine is available over the counter without a script in all pharmacies. At the moment they are looking at legalising it all and having it scripted but not until 2018. They have things in place at some pharmacies where you have to give your ID before they will make you purchase it. I believe your name goes on a list and it’s kept track of. However not all pharmacies here do it. And as you could guess my partner is aware of which ones do and don’t which make it a lot easier for him to purchase multiple packets per week.

    I have been very patient and understanding with him about it all and asking a lot of questions, and he has been so great at talking openly to me about it too. I told him that he doesn’t have to go through this alone and that I will be here for him. He even expressed that he wanted to attend NarcAnon in our home town next week. I told him I thought that it was a great idea, I didn't even have to suggest it. As I've mentioned before. He's been down this path before with his ex-wife and I'm sure has tried many things to get and stay clean. I know he wants to get better and he knows how much happier he could be if he was clean, I think he struggles to find the willpower to do it.

    I have not been silent but I also have not been in his face either. I always approach it as delicately as possible. I’ve made it clear to him that I’m not going to sit back and just watch him continue to do this to himself. I will not just accept that it’s what he does or how he copes. I assured him I will be his support and rock to get through it and over the other side.

    At the moment his life outside of our relationship has been quite stressful. He is in the process of selling his house with his ex-wife and at the same time trying to deal with her. His job is casual but he works a lot and mainly overnight 24 hours shifts. I have suggested that cold turkey might be the best option for him and that he ask work for a week off. He agreed that he would like to go cold turkey too, which again I believe he has done before successfully but obviously not been able to stay clean for long. Excellent.

    I'm happy knowing that he can talk to me about it and we are making headway in his quitting. I will continue to keep posting, I'm sure there will be plenty more questions I will need to ask.
    DravenDomnq likes this.

  15. #15
    Ellejay is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DravenDomnq View Post
    Hey Ellejay, welcome to the forums! I read your thread earlier, but didn't have a chance to respond. I think Catrina, as always, has given some wonderful advice. I know I couldn't be getting off the meds without the support of my gf, and the fact you and your bf are communicating is so important. She supported me whether I wanted to listen to the doctors and stay on the meds, and was even more supportive in the fact that I made the decision to stop listening to them and just go cold turkey off of them.

    Your partner HAS to make the decision to go cold turkey, or taper off of the meds on his own, but having your support can make all the difference in the world for him. Some of the ways my gf has helped me that might give you some ideas is by always being there for me when I need her, or when I was detoxing by knowing when to leave me alone. She never hovered, or tried to do things I didn't want her to, but was always there for me when I needed her. Fixing me something to eat, making sure I had water or even sometimes just sitting next to me and understanding that I didn't want to be touched or even talk with her. Or if I just wanted to be in the other room by myself then she would leave me alone.

    She also made sure to remove all the alcohol from the house, and while she will occasionally have a drink when we go out, always makes sure to ask me if I'm all right with it since I stopped drinking as well as getting off the meds. While she has to be on some of the meds I got off of, she put them someplace out of sight and mind, and never takes them in front of me, or even talks about having them.

    Years ago I was in a relationship with an enabler that ended horribly, so the fact you want to be there and help him as you can is so fantastic. Hopefully he will continue talking to you and will understand what you're trying to do for him in being there for him, and how hard it can be on you and your children. The fact he's opening up and talking to you is a huge step in my opinion.

    I think it's great that you're posting here, and I hope you continue to do so and continue reading about other people's experiences. Know that there are some wonderful people on these forums who will help you however they can!
    Thank you DravenDomnq,

    I am trying my best and from what I can gather from him I’m doing ok. I’m happy to announce that he is making the decision to go cold turkey, and even attend NarcAnon in our local area. Which I fully support.

    When it comes to the actual detox part of it I am a complete rookie. I don’t believe I’ve been witness to a full detox with him. I’m not sure how he will be or what he will want me to do or not do.

    I myself occasionally have to take codeine for a neck injury but it is hardly very often and when I do I will only need 2 tabs. I never take them in front of him and like your GF I don’t ever talk about it. I made sure, since finding out about his addiction, to hide my pills. I can’t believe for the first few months of our relationship I just had them at home or in places he could see them and I had no idea. I was just flashing it in front of him. Neither of us drink so alcohol being around isn’t ever an issue.

    I hope he continues to talk openly with me about it all too. Thank you for your kind words. I hope to hear from you again.
    DravenDomnq likes this.

  16. #16
    Toby3610 is offline Member
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    Hey,
    I just wanted to say that I wish you luck. I was in your partner's position until May of last year. It is very difficult to quit. I know exactly what you were saying when your partner would know which pharmacies would sell it and which ones you had to give your licence for. When they bought this in for Australia I decided to get help. I'm not sure which area you live in but I know Sydney used to and I believe still does offer counselling through drug and alcohol government detox/ rehab places. I live in the northern rivers and I go to counselling at Riverlands detox. They have an out patient clinic which offers free counselling. I believe most public sectors in Australia has some for of free counselling for drug and alcohol rehab plus some form of detox but this may be in a larger town. I know if you require more help your local GP can do a mental health plan and your partner can get up to 10 free counselling sessions. Some places may need a referral through your GP others you can drop in. Medicare will cover a lot of things. It covered a couple of appointments with an addiction specialist through Riverlands. I believe that medicare will also help with a detox through a facility but there may be a waiting list and if you smoke or are on other meds it may need to looked at. For me SMART recovery has helped. Plus counselling. I do go to NA and this helps just knowing I'm not alone and having others to talk. to you have similar issues to me. but that first step was tough.Another service I have heard about but haven't used and I'm not sure if they are just around me or more Australia wide but its called INTRA and they offer groups and counselling plus the buttery offer different programs.
    I hope this helps. There are a few services out there both for you and him. I have heard of couples counselling and things like counselling through INTRA for you too. Also alanon which is more alcohol based but there may be a few things that you use or things that might help.
    Cheers

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