You plan for an awful lot with your husband; vacations, family functions, dinners, big purchases, where to send the kids for camp, a lot. You’re partners after all.
One thing that’s basically impossible to see coming though is an addiction, particularly one to pain pills as it may have started from a seemingly innocent prescription. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) points out that in 2017 “an estimated 18 million people (more than 6 percent of those aged 12 and older) have misused such medications at least once in the past year.”
Whether it started from a prescription or not though isn’t the pertinent point at the moment; the trouble is that once your partner is in the thick of a substance use disorder, what options do you realistically have to help out?
The person you married is still there, how do you get them back?
What Should I Do?
It’s no doubt a stunning statement to say to yourself, one you can’t believe you’re uttering; “my husband is addicted to pain pills”. It’s important to face this reality head-on though rather than go into denial which will only serve to make matters worse in the long run.
After you’ve clearly confirmed there’s an addiction and come to terms with the situation as best you can, the next move is to understand the nature of substance use disorders. Do some research and, critically, work on stopping any sort of enabling behavior you might be doing which includes denial, making excuses, picking up prescriptions, etc.
None of these things will be easy and the line between support and enabling in these circumstances is almost imperceptible. These enabling actions can bleed over into the realm of codependency, which James Madison University describes as “becoming so invested with each other that you can’t function independently”.
They go on to say, “in the long term, codependency takes a toll on both parties involved…there is often an imbalance because it is typically one person who consistently struggles and needs help (e.g., addiction, mental health issues, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement). That person becomes dependent on the helper. The helper often places a lower priority on their needs and becomes preoccupied with meeting the needs of others.
To that end, it’s important that you don’t forget that you have needs here too and to practice some self-care through this process.
What makes all the above easier is finding help and support.
How To Get My Husband Help with a Pain Pill Addiction Today
Depending on the severity of the addiction and the degree to which your husband denies there’s a problem, one of the paths you may want to consider is an intervention.
If through the course of keeping those communication lines open, you’re finding that you’re unable to break through to him and get him to come to an understanding that there’s a problem, that’s where an intervention specialist can help.
In order for change to happen, they need to confront that they have a problem.
Anyone dealing with addiction has to choose to seek treatment, they have to be shown what addiction is doing not only to themselves but to their family.
What it’s doing to you as their partner.
Unfortunately, it’s a harder point for some to get to than others.
At Footprints of Serenity, we have decades of combined experience in carefully and ethically providing that very pathway to guide people towards recovery and a future free from addiction.
To learn more about our intervention services, get in touch with us.