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HELP! Newlywed here... found out my husband is dependent on Percocet.
  1. #1
    Lilia1 is offline New Member
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    Default HELP! Newlywed here... found out my husband is dependent on Percocet.

    Hi everyone,

    I am still in shock I am on this forum, writing what I am about to write... It's impossible to describe the story in the amount of detail I want to describe it in, so I am giving an overview of the situation.

    I have been married for two years. Have been with my husband for 7 years. I am a 27 years old, attractive, educated female. My husband is the same. We both have very good, white-collar jobs, and are up for promotions every year. We both grew up in high-class, educated, nurturing environments, with strong families behind us.

    A month before we got married, I found some weed and pills in my husband's pockets when I was doing laundry. I looked them up and they turned out to be Percocets. I confronted him, and he broke down and told me that he has been dependent on painkillers for years, long before he met me, because of his back injuries. He brushed off the weed, saying he was just feeling tense a few days ago and hasn't done it in years before that. He told me he did not tell me this, because he did not want to upset me and was now at the end of his Fentanyl patch taper at 12.5 mcg (and very occasional breakthrough Percocet) , and was basically done with this painkiller problem. No one else knew. I was in shock, but with the wedding fast approaching, 200 people invited, and him promising me this is a non-issue, I closed my eyes and let it go.

    Through the past two years, we only rarely spoke about his dependence/addiction (I don't even know what to call it), but when we did, he was always very positive, saying he is at the end of the taper and just needs to make an appointment with his Dr. (an hour away) to decide whats next. We both have very demanding jobs which we are both thriving at, so I could understand why he didn't prioritize his appointments. Maybe I was just in denial...

    At the same time, I have stumbled upon weed and xanax in his things. I have gotten really upset about those (because of personal stigmas about weed), cried about it, saying that's not the husband I fell in love with, and posed ultimatums. Throughout this time, my husband told me he was not addicted to either of those, and that he would easily drop them if it meant so much to me. However, I would still find weed on him every so often, whenever I "investigated". Every time, I would reason him to never do it again, and he swore he wouldn't, but seemed to have forget about our heated conversations once some time passed.

    Fast-forward to now, two years later, I have found more pills, marijuana, and xanax. I was very upset and confronted him once again. He broke down again, saying he could not believe he was in this mess, that he didn't know how he got to this point. He never made an appointment with the doctor who was prescribing him Fentanyl patches, and when he ran out, he turned to percocet (10/325), supplied by his wall street friends, to be "normal" for work. From what he told me, he takes 3 in the morning, 3 at lunch, and 3 in the evening. He tells me that is an equivalent of 12.5mcg Fentanyl and that he is not missing a beat with his recovery. I am in shock, I know nothing but basics about these medications, and don't even know if that equivalency is true. I finally got a sense of urgency with this situation, and he agrees and wants to get better and get off painkillers.

    Over the past week, i've been on an emotional roller coaster. The continuous lies are what's gotten to me the most. The hurt for him and the hurt for me, the hurt for the beautiful future I envisioned for us, our future children, our families, the potential of being a divorcee at 27 years old, having to face our family and friends, whether anyone would love me the way he loved me ... I know I'm going too far with this, but those are all the things strolling through my mind. And the most important... his health. I want to help him and it seems like he really wants out of this too, but I don't know how to proceed. He wants to just go to an addiction doctor and go on some medication (i'm assuming suboxone), take a few days off work, and go through withdrawal, but I don't know if that's the right thing. At this point I'm willing to do anything. Should he do in-patient rehab instead? From your experience, what is the most effective treatment? How long will it take (realistically) until he is off everything? Is it worth it for me to stick it out with him? And if so, how much time should I give him? I love him, but I don't want to sacrifice any more years of my life with him, if it's all hopeless. What can I do to help?

  2. #2
    Lilia1 is offline New Member
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    I would also like to add that he is a wonderful person, and had I not known about his addiction, I would never know there was anything wrong with him. He is amazing at work, and is an amazing son, brother, and friend to all. The only downside is - he can be very short/aggressive/temperamental with me, to the point of making me cry, which I only recently started to wonder if it's a result of the medications he is on. In the past, I just took it as a given, and though it was his personality. Aside from an occasional "emotional abuse", he is a very loving, selfless partner.

  3. #3
    Joe-JustJoe is offline New Member
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    I'm sorry to hear about your situation. The truth is I can't tell you how much time it will take to straighten it out, or even if it can be straightened out, and nor can anyone else. We don't know because it's impossible to know. But there are a few things I can tell you. First of all you can never be sure what is going on. Addicts are very good at hiding their addictions. You may be convinced he's clean but he is not. So keep that in mind. In the future, if you do decide to stick around, you will always have to keep a few doubts in your back pocket and you will always have to help look out for him. Another thing to keep in mind is that all drugs are not equal and sometimes they need to be dealt with separately. I know this is not a popular thing to say but the truth is I know several addicts who have stopped using everything but marijuana and they don't take it any farther. Several who have been doing it for years. I know several who cannot handle that too but yes, I do know addicts who can smoke pot and that's it. Maybe that's something you could consider. The last thing I want you to know is that whatever method you choose to try to get a handle on this he should not go through it alone. I gather it is so much harder when you have nowhere to turn. Support is key in many cases. You could be part of that but if it's best you are not there are other options. So I would say my personal opinion is that having seen addiction tear lives apart it is a disease like any other. I think it fits the medical definition of a disease and I think since you are his spouse, having taken a vow that includes the phrase "in sickness and health" you should at least try unless you don't think the anger issues can be worked out with traditional therapy and addiction treatment. His temper may well be associated with the drugs. But that is really a separate issue that I'll need to address separately.

    You used the word abuse. Is that what it is? Does he hit you or sexually abuse you? Has it ever happened? If not then it may not be hopeless. Not knowing your situation intimately I think it's possible therapy might help along with some treatment for addiction/dependency. But I also want you to consider if this is a situation you even want to be in. You said you didn't want to waste more years with him. Do you feel like that's what's happening? That you're wasting your life? If that's how you really feel then maybe it's time to get out regardless. That's where the "unless" comes in with my previous statement. If you really think he just has a temper that can be helped then I think that's probably part of life and it may be worth your while to try. You have to be realistic in your assessment though. Normally when someone uses the word "abuse" and says they're wasting their life I would say get out because you clearly don't want to be with this person anyway so just cut your losses. But there are other issues to consider here. In this case it's entirely possible he's experiencing symptoms of his condition. That really is important to consider, I think. Maybe this can be worked out. If you want to do that I'd say at least put forth some effort and force him to do the same before you give up. That's just my personal opinion though. Yours may be different and if it is you need to think long and hard and do what seems right to you. If you do decide to stick around you MUST, I repeat, MUST force him to get help. Without it things will not change. Despite the title of the thread you are not a newlywed. You've been married two years. In that time you should have grown to know him very well and vice versa. Maybe he's being affected by the chemicals. Maybe he's just not as good a person as you think or want to think. I don't know for sure. That's something you need to work out.

    I wish I had more answers. I wish there were easy answers here. There are not. I am not personally an addict but I have been taking painkillers for years for a condition I have so I know chemicals can affect someone. But the usual effects are lack of sex drive, exhaustion, no appetite, lethargy, that kind of thing. Anger is one too but not one I've experienced so keep that in mind too. I can't know what this is like. Only you can. Even other people in situations that are very similar to yours can't really tell you what to do. They can offer you their experience and you can take it into account but I'm sorry, you need to make these decisions for yourself. I used to help out a psychiatrist friend of mine with a support group he ran for addicts. I made sure to let all of them know that your problems will never not be real no matter how badly you want them not to be and ignoring them was not the answer because they never, ever go away. And those problems, which are always there, are different for everyone and you alone need to decide how to handle them and how you want to live your life.

    If you want to reply I'm happy to talk to you further. But for now if you take anything away from this I hope it's the following. One, you are married. That should be worth something. Two, abusive relationships are not the same as normal ones. Three, maybe this can be worked out but maybe not. You have to make that decision. Four, if you do stick around both of you need to make a lot of effort and get some kind of help. Four, you must think long and hard about what you want and you must do what feels right. If not you will live in regret and that is no way to live your life. And finally, think this through and don't take anything for granted. Reality is reality and fantasy is fantasy. Do not ever confuse the two. I wish you luck and if you'd like to talk more I am happy to do that.
    Catherine120813 likes this.

  4. #4
    Catherine120813 is offline Senior Member
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    My heart goes out to you, and to him. I am just 17 days out from an addiction to painkillers, and my long-suffering husband had to deal with yet another mess with this. I have reason to believe I will stay clean this time (because I always thought alcohol was the problem, not Hydrocodone). With the admission that I was on the prescription yes, for pain, but also to cover up what has been an increasingly bad marriage for both of us-going on 12 years, came an epiphany that caused me to quit cold turkey, and see what my life really looked like. Not pretty.

    But since I am talking to you, I will tell you what my husband has been through: I was quite successful in NYC when I first met him, and a longtime member of AA there. Fast forward to the move I made 7 years ago to a much smaller town to be with him. I had made a bad decision, no two ways about it. He had too, but he didn't know it yet. Lots of sober time went by punctuated by a return to drugs, 3 rehabs etc. He has seen me through all of this, and we may still make a good marriage out of all of this, but NOTHING will ever make him stop worrying about me (re: post above). My concerns are twofold: 1. Do I have any right to put him through more time with me even though 2. I feel I have a lot to offer with the "real" me. Do I want to stay with someone who has such a hate/love relationship with me?

    I don't know, but you are two years into this. I know that Wall Street crowd and of course drugs are rampant, they lead such insane lives. If he is willing to go to a rehab, I say support him in that and then get him off to AA/NA in the city. They are both fabulous programs and I can point you to some great meetings. AA, btw, is full of pill addicts these days so no problem there. Try the Monday night 71st Street meeting just off 5th (lots of rich Wall-Streeters there, and the Thursday meeting at 60th and Park is great for people your age. Just may be the help he needs to see how many people like yourselves are dealing with this issue. Call AA for specific info. I am a little out of touch.

    In short, give him the support to get clean, at least through 1 rehab or AA/NA. Don't expect a miracle; very few people make it the first time. But I gotta tell you, I was fine in NYC. I will follow your thread and try to help if I can. Maybe you are not in NYC (I also know Brooklyn)? There is hope.

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