Hi - I'm new to the boards and would like your input on addiction and/or obtaining oxycontin. My wife got addicted to oxycontin a couple of years ago and started using it while taking care of her mother who was dying of cancer. The pills were readily available as her mother was on heavy doses. She took it to escape the pain of the situation. I noticed all sorts of odd behavior but chalked it up to the emotion. She confessed to me that she was using and needed help getting off of it. I kind of blew my stack, but came to help her through the withdrawal at home. It took a month and she swore to me she would never touch the stuff again. I believed her, as she is very strong-willed.
When her mom passed away, she was very depressed and sought help from a psychiatrist. That didn't help too much, but she seemed to be getting better. Then again this last Christmas on the anniversary of her mom's passing, she got really depressed again. She saw a doctor who prescribed Lexipro - and she seemed to snap out of her funk.
I found some charges on her account accidentally and saw they were for internet prescriptions - Ultram or Tramadol. I looked up what this drug is and found it can be habit-forming, and similar to opiates. I confronted her with it and she said she took it because nothing was helping her depression, and she had been taking it for 4 months took a break for 3 months and then took it for another month before trying the Lexipro. She obtained it (Tramadol) through the internet - you don't need a prescription because they provide one for you!! She assured me that she isn't taking anything else, but hid it from me because I would be upset. Despite that she said she still wouldn't touch oxycontin - and she says you can't purchase it on the net - but I look on sites and it appears that you can get the stuff (oxy) without a prescription in the same way you can get the Tramadol.
Can you get oxy on the internet easily? I really want to trust her but I know the strong lure of the stuff - she doesn't seem to be exhibiting any of the signs like when she was on oxy before.
I hate being in this position of not knowing what to believe - your input is appreciated.
Oh lost, your wife's story sounds almost EXACTLY like mine. My dad is on heavy doses of oxycontin, and I took them for several months. OC's are a dangerous drug and you're addicted before you realize it. I went to my dr., and he put me on Lexapro. Just like your wife. She is probably going through a TON of emotional issues right now, and just wants to take whatever she can to make it stop. Depression is a HUGE trigger for many of us. The fact that she was ordering tramadol over the internet worries me some. I've never heard of it being used to treat depression, so using something in a way other than how it has been prescribed is abusing the drug. As far as getting OC's over the net, I've never been able to do that. OC's are highly controlled, in my state anyway, and you would have to have an original script from a dr.(YOUR dr. that has met you in person) sent to the provider in order for them to send it to you. Actually, other than in the black market, OC's have seemed pretty hard to get unless you know someone on them or have chronic pain issues. Has she been going to a dr? If you're not noticing any of the behavioural changes she had last time on the OC's, then I would say she's not using them. However, since she has ordered the tramadol, which from what I've heard doesn't give you much of a high, she is exhibiting addictive behavior which needs to be addressed. Honestly, from how I was when I was using, if I had oxycontin, I wouldn't have even bothered with tramadol, so I dont' think she's using them. BUT getting upset with her isn't going to help out. I can promise you that right now, she feels low enough without someone pointing out all that she's doing wrong. However, this is your wife and a good marriage cannot exist without honesty and trust. Go to her, let her know you are concerned and want to help. I did some really crappy things to get my fix, but I never meant to hurt or lie to anyone. When you're an addict, sometimes you don't think logically. It drives the family members crazy, but its the truth. We don't do it to hurt you, we do it because it is the only way we know how to function. You may want to get a 2nd opinion on the depression dx from the psychiatrist. We originally thought that was what I had, but now it looks like it may be bipolar, and lexipro will usually not help BP patients. Or she may just need to change her antidepressants. Most times the original med doesn't work and they need to change it up.
I am sending you and your wife all the strength I have. Please, be patient but firm with her. And like I said, her self esteem has already taken a beating, so put-down's and anger won't make it better. Just let her know you're there to help and will do whatever it takes to fix her as long as she is willing to try as well.
Thanks so much for the reply Tracy. I found a lot of comfort in your words. My wife is currently not seeing a regular doctor, and I think that's why she went searching for answers for depression on her own. Any doctor she did see would try to put her on an anti-depressant, and none of them worked well for her. She tried to self-medicate, and I did find some validity online to the fact that Tramadol can ease depression. She hid it from me because of the very gray area that the drug is in - and she didn't want me to get mad.
She says it (Tramadol) doesn't give her any kind of high and she just took it to get rid of the depression. She does have a very high tolerance to drugs and she was taking the max (300mg) for awhile. Since she's been on the Lexapro now, she says she hasn't taken any of the Tramadol in over 2 weeks. I can't understand why anyone would want to take something that is so controversial given her past - websites say that Tramadol shouldn't be taken if you've ever been addicted to opiates. On the other hand, I've never been as depressed as she has been.
She doesn't seem to need the Tramadol now, but she has said that she doesn't want to be made to feel 'dirty' if she would have to take some again at some point. So she has it hidden somewhere, and she says I need to trust her and know that she never wants to walk down the path of addiction and withdrawal. She is upset with me for snooping around and finding out about the Tramadol, but I feel that I was justified given her past. Her hiding something like this has really shot my trust in her, but your words of encouragement have given me hope that she is being truthful.
I'm glad I've been able to help you out. I know that addiction is a family disease and it takes it toll on people other than the addict. I do think the tramadol is risky given her past, but if she's not using it, then moot point. Also, I know it upsets her when she feels like she's not trusted. My hubby asks me sometimes "Have you taken anything" when I'm in a mood and it does aggravate me, but I also understand that he is justified in asking at times. I am an addict, even tho I'm in recovery. However, relapse is a part of this disease, and as my husband, he has the responsibility of protecting me, even if it is from myself. He does it because he loves me. So, I think you should be able to ask your wife the questions about her use, but don't nag and have a good solid reason for asking. Also, when you talk to her about it, make sure she knows it is out of love and concern for her. You may want to read the thread "I'm sick of this"...it should be easy to find because many of us have been posting on it the last couple of days...you may want your wife to read it and see if this describes her as well. I've printed it out and will take it to my therapist and get her take on it. Your wife is hurting, and is trying to fill some void in her life (be sure not to take that personally, because it has nothing to do with you) whether it be from losing her mom (I can't imagine the pain she has endured) of from a chemical imbalance. Most addicts aren't running to drugs, we're running from something else. She needs to find what she's running from or what void she's trying to fill. When those things are resolved, this should get a lot easier on both of you. Stay strong. You're a wonderful husband to be so concerned about your wife. That's not a bad thing at all. Be proud of yourself that you care.
I can understand your concern. My husband has successfully fought and overcome 2 separate addictions. One before we were married, and one after. He has remained clean from his DOC for many, many years and has remained sober & free of alcohol for quite a few years as well. He knows his life is worth so much more than what any kind of addiction can offer him.
I don't think you should feel guilty for doing what you feel you need to do to make sure the woman you love is safe and free from any kind of addiction. You have every reason to be concerned about her using tramadol/ultram because it is so much more addictive than most people are aware of. This is because it affects certain parts of the brain in the same way opiates do, so even though your wife says she doesn't get any kind of "high" from it, she did tell you she took it to help with her feelings of depression. This, in my opinion, sounds like it does give her some sort of "mood Lift". If this is the case, then please do keep a watchful eye, because that mood lift is called euphoria and your wife could easily become addicted again. Believe me, if for one second I thought my husband was slipping into any sort of addictive behavior, I'd be doing whatever I had to do to nip it in the bud immediately. I would do this because I love him with all my heart, and I know he is worth the fight.
No, she shouldn't be made to feel "dirty", and I know that wasn't your intention. I know you are doing what you are out of love, care and concern for her. She also didn't intentionally become addicted to oxy, so what is the answer? My only thoughts are deffinitely make sure she is treated for her depression, and be sure to keep the lines of honesty & communication open. Reassure your wife that you love her and are not judging her, but only want her to be safe, secure and happy and that you are willing to help her in any way possible to achieve these things that she truly deserves in this life.
Please do continue to check back and post. There are so many strong, knowledgable and kind people here to support you & your wife.
Last edited by ozzybug; 03-01-2007 at 03:17 PM.
Reason: spelling error..oops!!
I have to say I disagree with somethings on this thread. For those prone to depression and they take the tramadol it does help I believe boost the seratonin levels therefore helping with the depression issues. I have seen some who suffer from depression have a heck of a time stopping the tramadol because of its anti-depressant properties. I can also say that I have had issues with hydro but suffer chronic pain and my dr gave me some ultram. Its not my DOC and I didnt get any high from it just helped my pain. I found it easy to stop. If she stopped while on the lexapro then good for her. The tramadol didnt give me a high like the hydro infact didnt do anything as far as a high. Which is a good thing considering my past. I do agree that tramadol does have anti depressant properities and she could have very well just taken it for that fact. Plus it would help her with the w/d of the oc's. Just my opinion but have seen it used as an anti depressants and patients want to continue to take it because it does help with it. Oc's and hydros are very difficult to buy on the computer now a days they are really coming down hard on the internet pharmacies. Infact if you try to buy them they say they are not available and suggest tramadol. So maybe thats how she originally got it then realized it helped with depression. Addiction sucks and is hard to kick you should really praise your wife for coming as far as she has. Its quite an accomplishment for her. I hope she continues her anti depressant and that seems to help her alot. Good luck to both of you. I understand your concern as I have been where she is. Its a hard thing you want to stop just dont know how.