View Full Version : Secretly Found Out My Wife's Addicted To Oxy - What should I do?

Help My Wife
04-14-2010, 05:50 PM
First I have to say I am absolutely heartbroken... I love my wife dearly and I thought we told each other everything. Yesterday I was looking for a heating pad in her nightstand and found 2) 180 count bottles of 10/325 Oxycodone (1 empty and one with 30 left). So I started looking up the doctor who prescribed them, found his number (he's a pain specialist) and began searching cell phone records. I went back as far as I could find (16 months) and it appears she is renewing the subscription monthly. She also just called a couple days ago to renew again. It works out to 6 pills per day. From what I can tell that is not alot and seems about right inline with the 1 tablet every 4 hours indicated on the bottle. She has a pretty serious stomach disorder that has not every been accurately diagnosed. She gets admitted into the hospital about every 6 months when the pain flairs up severely and they replace a stent in her obstructed bile duct and send her home with 10 pills. I always thought she kept a couple extra aside for when the pain flaired up, and would often tell her to take one of them when she claimed to be in more pain than usual. She would just say "I did". (Little did I know how much she really "did")

When we were dating back in 2003, she started crying once, and admitted that she had recently started taking pain killers and couldn't stop so we worked through that and for a long time after, we talked about it and she seemed fine without them. Also, the address on the bottle is still from our last home which was more than 3 years ago, so this could have been going on for 3 to 6 years. Anyway, my first instinct was to confront her, but I honestly feel so betrayed that it might push me right out the door. So my second thought was to call the doctor and threaten to call the DEA on him if he refilled her prescription again... but then I started reading about the withdrawal pains, etc. So that leads me here. I am looking for opinions, and advice on how I should move forward with this. Please help I've already started to withdraw from her and I can't stand the thought of being without her, but I just feel so betrayed...


Broken Hearted

04-14-2010, 06:16 PM
:wave:Welcome to health boards - help my wife - I hope you find some good company as you seek answers to your dilema.
Many things cross my mind as I read your post - your true concern for your wife and her seeming strong need of pain relief.
I understand her part in needing help to combat an unknown physical assailant, that is yet to be determined from what you post - and your thoughts of why is she doing this without my knowledge? Marriage is a place where you should be safe disclosing fears with each other, but for reasons not yet addressed - your wife is apparently trying to keep up the best appearance of a normal life, without distressing you further. That is my take on this.
Pain is a relentless foe and ally. If she has a physician who is treating her and she is an adult - I see no reason to turn the doctor in. His treatment plan is with his patient, your wife, and not you.
That said - addressing this with your wife, and seeking a way that you too can be involved in helping her figure out what is wrong with her. Repeated hospitalizations are emotionally, physically and financially draining. I know you can identify with that - But you cannot identify about her needs, certainly not from her perspective.
Perhaps if she would consider taking you at some point to one of her PM doc's appointments - you could gain a bigger picture of where she is at physically and the physicians Rx for her will make more sense to you.
My aunt has been on strong pain meds for decades. She was in an awful auto accident years ago and has many other health issues stemming from that time and consequently cannot go a day without her vicadin(s), muscle relaxers, Tens units and you name it. I too have had to be on pain meds for longer than a two week period that most people find themselves on - It worried my husband - but he eventually began to understand that I took them as needed and didn't when I didn't need them.
He eventually had his own health issues to deal with and then learned that a strong need for pain meds is not always indicative of addiction. Sometimes, we just hurt.

04-14-2010, 06:19 PM
Broken Hearted, yes, betrayal hurts very much. I'm sorry you had to find out this way. I commend you on not acting harshly and taking time to think about the situation. You obviously have a couple of options and some may be easy while others ones are not. One option would be to talk with her about it. From my perspective, keeping them in a bed-side drawer is not really hiding them. My husband goes in my nightstand once in awhile so if I wanted to hide something from him I wouldn't put it there. Now that being said, she didn't tell you she was getting them and that is being deceitful. I would ask her why she felt she couldn't come to you and tell you about it. My guess is she was afraid you wouldn't approve after what she went through before.

Like you mentioned, it sounds as if she is taking them as prescribed which is a good thing. Maybe her pain just got so bad she had to have something to help and as long as she is taking them as prescribed and following the docs orders, it doesn't sound like she is abusing them. She may have felt you would not have wanted her to have any but her pain sounds pretty bad.

If this is the case, and you decide to be supportive, I would definitely make sure that everything is aboveboard and she tells you everything. You could even go along to the doctors appointment to see what's going on. If she goes along with all that and is not hiding anything then IMO, she is using them for pain and was just scared to tell you.

Now on the other hand if she gets all defensive(and that depends on how you approach her) and doesn't want to talk about it or doesn't want you to go with her to the docs or the finances are looking hinky, then there might be something else going on. Again IMO, if she admits she can't stop again, it would be nice if you could support her again as long as she is being truthful.

Either way I think it's completely fair for you to tell her she upset and hurt you by keeping this info private and you want to know what's going on. Then go from there.

Take care

04-15-2010, 10:41 AM
I agree with Boxer in that your wife keeping the medications in her nightstand doesn't at all seem to be the actions of a person who is addicted. More often than not, an addict will go to extreme measures to hide their drug of choice, or keep their drug of choice on them at all times so that no one will find them. Addicts are extremely protective of their drug of choice.

Another thing that points away from addiction is that, as you said, the med count lines up with the prescribed/fill date and how many pills are left in the bottle. If your wife were abusing the oxycodone, chances are there would be way less pills left in that bottle than should actually be there, or there would be none at all with some time left before another refill can be picked up, you know?

I understand you feel betrayed, but again, I agree with Boxer in that your wife may be afraid to confide in you that she needs these meds given what happened when you were dating. I'm not saying her choice to not tell you was the right choice, because husbands and wives need to be able to be open about this kind of thing. I am saying that I do also understand if she was afraid to tell you.

You see, women are the "care takers" when it comes to marriage, children, etc. so there is a level of pride that comes into play. We feel we need to be "on-point" at all times to fulfill our duties as wives and moms. When something happens that could possibly hinder that, it can certainly cause feelings of inadequacy and no mom wants to feel inadequate- no wife wants to feel inadequate. It could be that your wife feels that her pain issues and the need for pain control may make her look bad in your eyes and thus, decided not to tell you about it. It sounds like she truly does have legitimate pain issues from your post.

It was extremely hard for me, as a mother and wife, to come to terms with the fact that I will have chronic pain which neccessitates the need for medications every day for the rest of my life. I struggled with the fact that in order for me to lead some kind of quality/productive lifestyle, I will have to rely on daily medications. It was a huge blow to my pride as well as my self esteem because I've always prided myself for being the involved and on-the-go mom & wife who can handle whatever life throws at me. Now, my pain levels create problems and heavily interfere with many of the things I want & love to do as a mom and a wife.

I'm glad you didn't confront your wife in and angry manner, and even MORE glad you didn't fly off the handle and call making threats to her prescribing doctor because if she really has pain issues the way you described, she may end up bed ridden without those medications. Pain management doctors will promptly release a patient if there are any indications of addiction whatsoever. A call from you may have caused him to release her from his practice when there is a really good chance that she is NOT abusing her meds.

If she is with a reputable doctor, chances are that he does random drug screenings to insure she is taking her meds properly, and if he is like my PM doctor, then she probably has to take all of her meds in to each appointment for pill counts- again to insure she is taking them properly.

This is just my opinion, but I would highly recommend that you try and approach this with your wife in an understanding and concerned way. Be ready to support her and her need for pain management, and offer to help her in any way you can. I also agree that it might be a good thing for you to go to a doctor's appointment with her so that the doctor can explain what pain management is and answer any questions you have. It might help you to see her side of this. You see, unless someone lives with terrible, chronic, intractable pain it's hard for them to truly understand just what it takes to make it through the day.

Your assumption that your wife is addicted is very typical. Many people, if not most people automatically assume that just because a person has to take medications daily, it means they are addicted, and that's very hurtful to those of us who take our meds properly so we don't hurt so badly that we are stuck in bed missing out on life.

You also need to make sure you understand the difference between addiction and dependancy. I won't go into because I've already written a novel here, but please do take the time to research and find out that there is a difference between the two.

Take care, and I hope this helps some.

Help My Wife
04-15-2010, 06:24 PM
Sorry for the Delay in responding...I want to thank you Ladies for taking the time to share your stories and suggestions, and helping me understand the difference between dependency, and addiction - I did not mean to offend or label those who follow a doctors prescription as an addict.

What seems to be running through my mind now are all of the side affects I keep reading about. The one that bothers me the most is lack of emotion - I am a very affectionate person and really enjoy hugging and kissing and she would agree that my number one request is for us to be more affectionate. As I write this I guess I could anticipate the response; would I rather see her in dire pain. I suppose there are going to be many times now where I'm going to want to blame the medication for her mood, actions, etc. All I can do is make the commitment to never bring it up or I end up validating one of several reasons she did not tell me to begin with.

Ok, I have a lot to think about including how I am going to bring up this very sensitive subject. Thank you all so very much for all of your in-site. I'm actually thinking about writing a letter to her so I can control exactly what I want to say - I tend to write much more clear (I hope) than I do communicate effectively. Actually thinking about sharing this posting...

Take care...!

04-16-2010, 02:55 AM
Help My Wife...Good luck with writing your wife the letter & i wish the both of you all the best.

04-16-2010, 03:41 AM
Help My Wife-
Thank you for your response. I know this is really hard for you because it sounds like you care very deeply for your wife. I know you have the best intentions for her health, wellbeing & for the stability of your marriage. If that is the case, then I know you will handle this with the utmost care.

Yes, there are side effects to the medications, however, like you stated a person must make a choice as to what they are able to live with. It's not easy to make that choice, but even though the meds have side effects, so does long term, intractable pain. So, do you take the meds and have side effects and be able to function, or do you NOT take the meds, live with pain and still have side effects from the pain along with missing out on life? You see what I'm saying?

I can assure you that if your wife is with a reputable PM doctor, he checks her blood, liver function, etc. frequently to insure the medications aren't causing harm to her body. I have blood work done about 3 times a year because my PM doctor wants to make sure the meds aren't harming my liver and other important body functions.

I didn't take any offence to your original post at all. It's just that, your response to finding the medications truly was very typical. It's not because you are a bad or mean person, I feel it's simply because you just don't know exactly what pain management is all about. Lots of people are unaware, therefore, lots of misunderstanding when it comes to people who have to take medications on a daily basis.

I'm sure your wife would rather have absolutely no chronic pain issues than to have to take medications every day. All of us who are in PM feel that way. I know I do. I'd love to go back to the person I was before my injury and subsequent 7 surgeries.

Anyway, I really hope I didn't come off as being angry or rude because that was not my intention. I just wanted you to try and see this thing from her side. I still don't agree with keeping something this important from one's husband, but again, it's a really sensitive subject and it could be she really wants to share with you, but just doesn't know how.

Take care, and let us know how it goes. I'm sure with some understanding and open communication, this can be smoothed out.

PS- Please try not to blame the meds for any kind of problems. It can really make a person feel like you are blaming them for something they have no control over. Again, I'm sure this can be smoothed out and you and your wife can come to an understanding. I think the open communication between the two of you will bring you closer together.

04-16-2010, 08:07 AM
I am sorry to hear you feel betrayed, but the first person you need to speak to is your wife. Find out why she sees these doctors and why she has felt the need not to tell you about it. She may be in serious pain and need around the clock pain mgmt. I am in the same situation myself. I have so much wrong with me and everything I have wrong is a painful disorder so it just pile on more and more pain. I identify with what you are going through but I also identify with your wife I am sorry to say. If she thinks she has a problem and is taking them for other reasons than the pain than that is a different story and she needs help and you need to stand by her. Marriage is better or worse, not if I feel like sticking around. You did say she had a legitimate pain issue. I would not call her doctor that is not your place I am afraid to say. If she wants to get off them she needs to go somewhere where they can offer her a safe detox or it could kill her, then she would need therapy, if she is in any way where she would need this medication in the future maybe you could help her get down to an acceptable daily dosage. Some of us just want to function. Life sucks when you are stricken with a chronic illness. It plain sucks. My husband helps me with my meds and we have problems with it still. It is an ongoing process but one you do for the one you love. I have done things behind my husband's back too, because of the "addict" stigma that surrounds these medications, however I don't ever lose consiousness, I don't fall asleep in my food, I function, I take care of my kids, I get laundry done. That's what I want is a normal or as normal life as I can have, maybe that is all she wants too. IT would be helpful as well if you both did some therapy to talk about the issue. Work a plan and follow it and at the end of it all be happy with the decision that you make together. Don't go off mad on your own and betray her back, it's not a good idea. Asses the height of the problem first. Have her make some comprimises with you, buy a safe and keep her meds in there to where you give her a certain amt daily or weekly whatever works for you.
I hope I have helped. If she needs someone to talk to I would be happy to talk to her just reply back to me or I will be happy to talk to you. I have been through it for the past 6years and it has been hell and if I had my choice I certainly wouldn't be taking these meds not at all, but I am confined to my bed without them. That isn't a life. Really either way isn't but you have to pick the lesser of the two evils. Reply back and we can talk some more. I would love to help if I can. Good luck if I don't hear from you. Plus my husband has been in your shoes so I could make him available if you really need another perspective from a husband.

04-16-2010, 08:13 AM
Welcome HelpMyWife!

I read this thread yesterday and thought about it all night last night as I didn't have a chance to reply yesterday......

I first of all think she probably didn't want to tell you about the meds because of the previous issue when you were first dating. It's scary taking meds for a legit reason because people do automatically judge you.... However, I crossed the line and that is when it turned from dependence to addiction. Now, if I ever need pain meds I feel like I am so hard on myself about it.

I feel your wife is so very blessed to have you because honestly, for you to take the time to hash this thru before freaking out instantly and accusing her of god knows what.... it's very good that you are trying to wrap your brain around all of the options.

I think you letter is a GREAT idea. I sometimes will have these great intentions of starting out a conversation and sticking to what I wanted to but some how it never works out that way! So, the letter is a good way to go, as long as you talk right away after her reading this letter because communication is KEY as you know to a healthy marriage.

I really hope that you can work with her thru this because honestly, having chronic pain is beyond miserable and now that she can have you by her side dealing with this she will be far better off. I would suggest going to her Dr's appointment with her so that you can see everything that is going on.

As for the side effects of the drug.. Here is my opinion on that. If she was in shreaking pain all the time her affection to you would be a heck of a lot less than when she is on the pills. Constant pain puts me in a TERRIBLE mood and affection is the last thing on my mind where I normally am beyond affectionate and enjoy hugs and kisses.. all that good stuff.. When I am in pain though.... BACK OFF BUDDY! hahahahaha So, I am just trying to help you understand that if she does infact have legit pain then it's better this way.

PLEASE keep us posted as we really do care how this turns out.. I know it's hurtful to feel like you were left out of something but give your wife the benefit of the doubt that she needs these pills and is not abusing them.

Good luck. Many blessings to you and your wife!

Help My Wife
04-18-2010, 03:23 PM
Ok, I haven't been able to get myself to write the letter or talk to her yet. Knowing my wife, and from everything all of you have said about not wanting to burden others with her pain, I just think maybe if she wants to keep this to herself, than I might just be better off supporting her by not bringing it up. After all she's not really trying that hard to hide it from me, and after paying close attention to how she functions, I don't really see any signs that it interferes with day to day things. It is nice that I have all of your support as I really would not feel comfortable talking about this with anyone besides her, and when the time is right, when she wants to tell me, I will be ready to listen. In the mean time, I will just try to keep an eye on things from a distance...I have, on a few occasions, let her know that I am there for her.

Curious what everyone's thoughts are on handling it this way for now?

04-18-2010, 03:49 PM
Help My Wife, you have the 'wait and see' approach, which I tend to favor. More from the natural my own tendency of non confrontation. From the sound of it, you do love her and now may have a little better understanding of why she does what she does. Being aware of the signs of dependency, addiction or 'need' is a healthy thing emotionally for you. It will hopefully not rob you of sleep, worrying over non existent troubles. Yet, you are wise to be informed or possiblities and holes in the road ahead of you. I think that is a very stable place for you to be right now.
I know there are those who favor the full speed ahead approach, but that lends itself to drama that escalates into reactions instead of a firm plan.
If you need to vent from time to time - we are here to lend support.

04-18-2010, 05:01 PM
HI Help,

Just finished reading this entire thread. Wow, I can't imagine how you felt when you came across the meds. That had to be difficult for you initially. Especially not to say anything!

I'm not sure of your wife's medical condition, but I see a Pain Mgt Specialist and mine is pretty strict about who he gives out his meds to and the DEA watches him very closely as well. I believe in order for her to get that dosage she's got to be having a pretty considerable amount of pain. I hate to see anyone in any pain. I live with it EVERY DAY 24/7. And I don't know what I'd do without my husband without my side. He helps me, recognizes my mood swings, etc. Let me tell you its very difficult, it affects everything you do. It can kill your spirit without you knowing it.

So whatever path you decide to take, wait and see, write a letter, just sit down and talk, just keep all of that in mind. She's probably been through some of that as well.

I just hope when the time comes (because it will :) ) you guys will be able to be there for each other. She's going to feel bad for not telling you I'm sure.

Good luck and please let us know how it goes. Just don't keep it bottled up, ok? I think she probably needs you.


04-19-2010, 04:15 AM
It's me again, I ready your recent post and I do think you need to talk to her about her pain issues. Make sure you know that she does indeed have a 24/7 problem that she needs that many all the time. If she is functioning at a normal level that is a good sign. If she is not sitting around all the time falling into her food that would be a bad sign. I think you need to open a level of communication with her. I don't think you should go into it guns blazing. Just clear the air and decide how you want to move on. If she says I am doing well on my own then let it be at that and tell her that if she needs your help you are there but you will keep an eye out in case she need you. To be there for her is the best you can do. I know it is easy to get angry especially in situations having to do with narcotics, they have given everyone such a stigma however those of us who need them and have realy chronic pain problems. I wish you the best but I certainly wouldn't say nothing. If you feel betrayed don't keep it to yourself, it could fester and you could come out much angrier for it later. Take my advice if you like if not I wish you the best. It is a difficult situation.
Good luck,