With the talk, research, and numerous fatalities revolving around the opioid epidemic sweeping across our nation, it’s no wonder that you’re worried about a spouse who may be struggling with pain medication addiction. But, it’s important to understand that you aren’t alone and that help is also available to you and your family. First, you need to discover if your spouse is actually struggling with addiction. Then, you need to find out what you are going to do about it.
Determining if a Spouse has a Pain Medication Addiction
Throughout active addiction, individuals may portray addictive behaviors that may be a sign of a developed pain medication addiction. These addictive behaviors may include:
- Needing to refill medications before the doctor suggested
- Asking for a larger dose or more medication
- Mixing pain medications with other drugs like alcohol
- Making excuses for behaviors committed while taking medication
- Trying to stop using medication and failing on their own
- Hiding pills or lying about using medication
- Throwing fits when medication cannot be found
- Neglecting familial or financial responsibilities
- Getting in trouble with the law as a result of being high
If your spouse is exhibiting all or even one of these symptoms, they may be struggling with an addiction to their pain medication. But, fortunately, there are a few things that you, your family, and your spouse can do to get better and live life in recovery.
I know my Spouse has a Pain Medication Addiction. Now What?
Take Care of You: First and foremost, you have to think about you and your kids (if you have any). If your spouse is exhibiting abusive behavior of any sort, it’s imperative to have a plan of action to remove children and yourself from the toxic environment. Additionally, addiction affects more than one individual. It affects you and your family as well. Therapy can help in the healing process and also provide you with coping mechanisms you can utilize throughout daily life. Make sure you take time to do the things you need to stay healthy mentally, spiritually, and physically. It can be hard to lose sight of self-care when you are worried about a loved one, but it’s ever-so important in these trying times.
Stop the Enabling: Are you bailing your spouse out of jail or calling in sick for him/her so they won’t get fired? Keeping a spouse with an addiction to pain pills accountable for their actions is what will eventually make them realize they need help. If you keep enabling them by protecting them from the consequences of their actions, they may never climb up from their self-dug pit of denial. Instead, stand firm in your decisions and provide clear communication to allow your spouse to understand you will no longer support their addiction.
Do your Research and Ask for Help: You’ve probably never dealt with a spouse struggling with addiction before, so you need to learn more about the situation you are in. 12 step organizations and self-help organizations are not only for addicted individuals, they are for their families as well. Get to know more about the recovery community and find hope in the support of others who have been through similar or parallel circumstances. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. And, when you are prepared with knowledge, you will be able to effectively make better decisions for you and your family throughout this time.
Communicate with your Spouse: Undoubtedly, this is the hard part. You need to confront your spouse about their addiction and offer them an option to get help. This should be done in a calm setting when your spouse is sober so that they can make a decision unaffected by the impairment of their drug. Communicate with your spouse about how you can no longer enable him/her and also tell them that they need to get help immediately. But, this should be done with love and compassion. Express your concern for your family and that the only option they have to repair your family is treatment.
Looking for Support for your Addicted Spouse?
If you need help talking to a spouse about addiction treatment, The Wellness Retreat Recovery can help. We are a personalized addiction treatment facility with a compassionate staff dedicated to helping the lives and families of addicted individuals. Give us a call today to speak with an experienced addiction specialist about what you can do for your addicted spouse at 888-821-0238.