If your husband or wife is addicted to pain pills, you’re probably feeling hurt and confused. The prescription medications that were supposed to bring your spouse relief are now tearing your family apart. Sadly, prescription painkillers are some of the most abused substances in the world, and millions of people fall prey to opioid drug use every year.
Coping with a spouse’s addiction can be overwhelming. If you’re willing to walk the difficult road ahead, you can help your spouse find addiction drug treatment and start rebuilding your relationship.
What It’s Like Living With a Drug-Addicted Spouse
Prescription drug misuse might not seem as harmful as illicit drugs like cocaine or meth. After all, your spouse got them from their doctor. Yet, the act of hiding and concealing alone can take its toll on the trust in your marriage, not to mention everything that goes along with a life of addiction.
Substance use affects everyone in the home, not just the person who is addicted. Here are some of the home and marital problems you may be facing if your spouse is addicted to pain pills:
- Broken trust
- Distanced relationship due to lying
- Low self-esteem
- Exhaustion from running the house and raising children alone
- A cycle of verbal or physical conflicts
- Financial difficulties due to the expense of your spouse’s addiction
- Health problems as their body suffers through the physical side effects of prescription drug misuse
- Neglected or traumatized children
- Children at risk of developing an addiction of their own in the future
My Husband or My Wife Suffers from Addiction — What Do I Do?
If you believe that your spouse is addicted to prescription drugs, you do not have to go through this alone. By surrounding yourself with trusted individuals and seeking professional treatment, you will know what to do as you move forward.
Here are some steps you can take to help your spouse struggling with prescription drug addiction.
1. Confirm Your Suspicions
Maybe you’ve witnessed some troubling behaviors, or maybe it’s just your instincts telling you that there’s a problem. If your spouse it misusing their prescription medications, there usually are red flags that you can observe, such as:
- Preoccupation with their prescription drugs, such as frequently taking, asking for, searching for or talking about them
- Taking more than prescribed
- Concealing, hiding or lying about their drug use
- Using their prescription to deal with stress
- Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Lack of motivation
- Extreme highs and lows
- Blackouts or lapses in memory
- Withdrawal symptoms when they go without the drug
- Changes in their physical appearance
- Strange behavioral changes
2. Address Addiction Head-On
If you suspect that your spouse is misusing their prescription drugs, do not look the other way. You must talk to them about the problem, even if you’re afraid of how they’ll react. There’s no perfect time to discuss drug addiction, so it’s better to have this conversation sooner rather than later.
Stay calm. Don’t argue or blame. Describe the behaviors you’ve been observing and let your spouse know how you feel. If they refuse to admit that they have a problem, you may need to separate yourself from the situation to protect yourself and your children, if you have them.
3. End Enabling Behaviors
It’s normal to support and love your spouse. Sadly, in a relationship where addiction has taken hold, these supportive behaviors can quickly turn into enabling. Examples of enabling could include:
- Denying that there is a problem
- Lying to others for your spouse
- Making excuses to co-workers, neighbors, friends or family members
- Picking up their prescription drugs as part of your errands
Breaking enabling habits will help your spouse realize that they have a problem. This change may be the key to breaking their addiction.
4. Remember to Care for Yourself, Too
Your spouse will need your love and support as they enter an addiction treatment program. However, you also need to manage your own self-care. Join a support group with others who have addicted loved ones. Talk to a trusted friend or counselor. Go to individual therapy in conjunction with any couples or family therapy you attend with your spouse. Self-care will ensure you have the resources to be there for your spouse and your family.
Find Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
When both you and your addicted spouse are committed to recovery, it’s possible to repair the bonds that were damaged or broken by addiction. The first step is treatment. Contact us today to learn about effective and personalized prescription drug addiction treatment at Gateway Foundation. We want to help your family find hope and freedom.