View Full Version : I Think My Wife is Addicted to Pain Meds

04-02-2010, 07:53 PM

My wife has a severe case of TMJ, a nerve problem within the jaw, and has suffered for 10 years with persistent facial pain, migraines etc.

We have tried several doctors, all with promises of a cure, but when the day is done it's the same story, another prescription for pain meds.

Over the past few months, her speech has become more and more slurred and her actions are that of someone slightly drunken (off balanced when she walks, doesn't quite make sense at times...). When I confront her, she denies haven taken anything, and blames it on fatigue and stress.

At this point, the only option I know of to obtain the truth would be to give her a drug test, but I wouldn't know where to begin and what drug to test for.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks and God Bless

04-02-2010, 08:01 PM
Hello Proud Texan,

Has your wife been treated for her TMJ by a dentist? Just am wondering
what sort of help your wife gained from seeing a dentist? What were
the dentists suggestions and treatments?

Is she also seeing her regular PCP/doctor for her pain issues or is that
what you meant when you said doctors?

Pain can equal fatique and stress. I am sorry she is having such
a difficult time.

Any specific testing or imaging your wife has had done recently?


04-02-2010, 08:20 PM
Hi Janaly,
Thank you so much for replying.
I should have been a bit more clear. We have been to 4 different dentists covering the past 7 years. 1 in New Jersey (we live in Texas) 2 in Houston, and 1 in Tyler,TX. Now she is seeing a nerve specialist in Houston along with her normal PCP. She has been on so many different medications it's hard to keep up. I guess I am more concerened that she has developed an addiction to one of them (hydrocodone is one of my fears). She is a very strong person, but very prideful as well and would have a hard time admitting she has a problem.
I am really worried about her but not quite sure how to know if she truly has an addiction.
Thanks again for your reply I really appreciate it.

04-02-2010, 08:37 PM
I think if your wife is willing you should take her to a neurologist to see if there is anything wrong with her brain that is causing her recent change in behavior. You mention she is always getting pain medications from doctors which would make sense if she is in constant pain however if you have no idea what medicines she is on perhaps it is time for the two of you to sit down together and have her show you all her medicines. It isn't something you should be confronting her on but rather you should be concerned that perhaps something more has happened to her or that if all the doctors she has seen have not reviewed all her medications then she might be on too high a dose or something else has happened to her. If she has a neurologist you need to take either all her medicines or at the very least a list of all her medicines and the dosage ...and when you call for an appt tell them you need a medicine review as soon as possible and tell them what is happening to her. She may be on some other type of medicine that is causing this bad side effect and both of you should be concerned. Doctors often call things 'pain' medicine when in fact it is not exactly a pain medicine but an antidepressant that they hope will take the pain away but those are prone to make the person feel numb and sort of drunk. Your wife may not even know she is having a bad reaction to something so please both of you go. In our house my husband is on so many medications that we decided it would be better that I keep track of them and keep an eye out for any adverse reactions....otherwise he forgets when he last took this and that. Good luck.

04-02-2010, 08:51 PM
This is great advice, and I will pursue this come Monday. I guess I have been a bit too confrontational but only as a worried husband and not knowing how to handle the situation. It's such a "catch 22" , as I want her to be without the constant pain she has experienced since we met, but the flipside is a possible addiction to what alleviates the pain for her. We will gather what she is currently taking, and take this to her neurologist to get her professional opinion of the mix. TMJ is such a hard diagnosis; her PCP labels it as a dental issue, while most dentists want to prescribe a "mouth piece" and medication (anti depressants, xanax, Tegretol just to name a few).
I will take your advice and I appreciate your words.