Need lots of opinions please....

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 2/12/2008 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,
Just need to be sure of things before I make a move which will probably be permanant.......
I wrote a few weeks ago, but I wasn't ready to do anything at that time.  I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I've decided that SOMETHING has to be done.  I just want to be sure that I know what I'm doing before doing it!
Once again, this is the situation....
My husband has chronic pain from stenosis and a ruptured disc.  He also has osteoarthritis.  He's prescribed 3 - 15 mg. tabs of oxycodone daily and 3 - 15 mg. tabs of methadone daily.  He takes 6 - 15 mg. tabs of oxycodone the first two weeks of each month daily and no methadone.  He takes methadone and no oxycodone (because he's all out) the second two weeks of each month.  He tells me he does this because he doesn't like the makes him feel like a "couch potato."  He sometimes "snorts" his oxycodone, but tells me he doesn't do this very often.  By the end of the day, after taking 6 - 15 mg. tabs of oxycodone, he can't keep his eyes open, and if he does, he walks around with little slits for eyes...eyelids only half open.  He's up ALL night, EVERY night.  When I go down to check on him, sometimes he's almost face first on the coffee table, or else he's nodding, or else he's standing and swaying back and forth talking to himself.  He naps for maybe two hours during the night.  I have no idea how he works all day, every day on such a small amount of sleep.  When I get up at 5:00 a.m., he's STILL watching t.v.  I sit down to have coffee with him.  He's still nodding and falling asleep.....sometimes in the middle of a sentence.  Tells me it's cause he hasn't slept all night.  Around 6:00 a.m. he goes upstairs and sleeps for an hour or two.  That's it for sleep.  I also know he has sometimes traded some of his methadone with our son for some of our son's oxycontin during the end of a month when he's all out of oxycodone.
My husband tells me he's not doing anything wrong, and that the reason he nods at night and falls asleep is because sometimes he takes an extra pill when he's having a bad pain day.  He's already taking 6 - 15 mg. tabs of oxycodone daily.  He also tells me taking his meds this way is what works for him.  His doctor, of course, is unaware of how he's taking his meds.  My husband also tells me it's better that he takes his pills this way, because he's actually taking a smaller amount of pills each month, as he still has half of the methadone left than he would if he was taking his meds as prescribed....sometimes he does, but not always.
My question.....does everyone who takes oxycodone/methadone act like this?  Up all night, nodding, falling asleep in the middle of a sentence, falling asleep/nodding nights and mornings?  Walking around with eyelids drooping, barely able to keep eyes open...eating sweets all day every day.  Is this how everyone on opiods acts?  And "snorting" meds too? 
I'm hoping for lots of responses, cause I would hate to do what I'm about to do, and find out later that I was wrong about things, and that everything my husband was telling me was true, and it is just "his way" of treating his pain????
I can't stand living like this any longer.  We have no relationship.  When I'm upstairs sleeping during thenight, he's downstairs.  When I'm downstairs in the morning, he goes upstairs to sleep.  I can't have a conversation with him, because he's always falling asleep.  Is it like this for all of you?????
The other part of the problem is that since he has started taking these opiods, nearly five years ago, he has gambled away tens of thousands of dollars......something he never did before he started taking opiods. 
He had told me when he first started taking these pills that he just wanted to try crushing/snorting the oxycontin just to see what it was like, and that it grabbed him by the *ss, and he couldn't stop.  He detoxed twice, but went back on them telling me that he used to abuse the opiods then, but doesn't now. 
Is it like this for all of you?  Please help one last time.
Thanks everyone.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/12/2008 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Trust,
Gramps is right on. And I say this as someone who is not only a cp patient, but someone who works wiht addicts in a professional capacity. Most people do not understand the physiology of addiction; it is very challenging to treat chronic pain when one is also addicted, but your husband is showing all the signs. I'm not sure what you were planning to do, but I hope your plan is to tell his doctor, for starters. Be prepared that your husband may not like this; he may even be quite angry with you, so get your support system together for yourself. And you likely will need to get involved in an addictions program. I'd strongly suggest you look for a Narc-anon program, which is similar to Al-Anon; it's for the families of addicts. If your husband's not having troube at work, I'd be surprised. Addictions tear down every aspect of life eventually, and are FATAL if not treated. Yet there is treatment, but expect he will be reluctant. One thing I wouldn't suggest is your trying to challenge him on your own. Work with medical professionals, and perhaps return to any addictions programs he's worked with in the past. If you also have some local programs for addicts, you can call them; sometimes they can assist with an intervention. But you likely will get nowhere on your own - as you're finding out via your husband's avoidance of communication. Please get yourself some help and support!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 649
   Posted 2/12/2008 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Your husband has legitimate pain. He is also severely addicted and abusing his pain meds. He doesn't admit that he's got a huge problem, and he probably still won't admit it after you do whatever it is you're planning to do. PAlady is right. Plan for the worst, have your own support system in place, and then hope for the best.

You can't fix his problem. HE has to do that. Does that mean you have to stand by and do nothing and live with all the worst an addict has to give? Not on your life! Have a serious discussion with his doctor and see if he can offer assistance with rehab. Your husband can't be trusted to taper his meds on his own. That's obvious because he's out of control with them and not taking them as prescribed. He might even believe this fairy story he's weaving about "snorting meds is not abuse" and "it's OK to take meds this way because I have pain." Addicts will say anything to justify and deny the harm they do to their lives and everyone else who lives with them.

Is your husband prescribed oxycodone (instant release) or oxycontin? Oxycontin is a time-released formulation of oxycodone that is meant to provide coverage for 12 hours. By crushing and snorting his oxy, your husband is getting all that medication in one huge burst. Why? To get high! Sure, he gets immediate pain relief, but it only lasts a couple hours, so he has to do it again. And again and again and again... and then he runs out. One day, he's going to overdose just as so many other people have when they abuse oxycontin in this manner. I'm sure he is saving the methadone for use only to prevent withdrawal when he's out of his oxy. Most people don't get high on methadone so it isn't as highly sought after by addicts. That's also why it is used to help addicts get off their street drug of choice. Aside from ruining his life (and yours) your husband is taking a tremendous chance on LOSING his life.

So what's the plan?
Living in the Republic of Texas minus a gallbladder, a couple of cervical discs, appendix, uterus, and 18" of colon; but still alive and living with my husband, 2 dogs, 1 cockatiel, 1 quaker parrot and 2 gold fish. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 2/12/2008 6:20 PM (GMT -6)   
You are a smart woman.....and you already know the answer to your own question, but looking to others for verification and validation. We are here to support you in whatever you feel you need to do to help him (or leave him, we don't know the plan but are here with 100% support). You will be helping your son at the same time so you've got a win-win situation. Quite obviously, you would also be helping all CP patients by helping your husband. Please, take seriously everything PAlady has said, she knows her stuff. Please, don't forget to take care of YOU during this whole thing. You have already lived with so much.
Mochiah/a.k.a. Sue
cervical fusion 2006
L4-5 surgery with cages, plates, and screws in 2005
MEDS:  Fentanyl patch, Norco, Celexa, trazodone, and baclofen
To handle yourself, use your handle others, use your heart
I'm going to smile like nothing is wrong, act like everything is perfect, and pretend its not hurting me.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 2/13/2008 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
This throws up a red flag for me. Lots more serious things going in.
Syringomyelia T4-T10
Chiari Malformation
Decompression Surgery 1999
"Remember That Life Is Short!!!" Life is short, break the rules, Forgive quickly, Love truly, laugh uncontrolably, And never regret anything that made you smile. <!-- / sig -->


Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/15/2008 2:04 PM (GMT -6)   
How are you doing? I know I and others maybe hit you with a heavy dose of reality, so I wanted to remind you there is a source of support on this board. Hopefully, you also have some family, friends and/or professional sources, but there's also us here in cyberspace. I hope you're safe and taking care of yourself.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 2/15/2008 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   


You already seem to know the answers to the questions you've posted. No, I never snorted my oxycodone/oxycontin. I also don't fall asleep from taking my pain medications.

Methadone , when used to treat chronic pain is used in dosing every 8 hours I believe, that's what mine is dosed at....but methadone also is/has been mostly known for it's ability to control withdrawal in addiction treatment....and it seems that your husband is doing just that......abusing his oxycodone/oxycontin meds until they are gone and then  using the methadone to carry him through until his next visit with his doctor.

I think I may have an idea about what you are going to do, and I hope that you do follow through. He is going to either accidentally overdose himself and if he is lucky, you will find him in time or he is going to overdose and die like so many others have from doing what he is doing. I hope that it doesn't become the latter....

I know that if you make the decision to talk to his doctor, expect him to be angry and expect him to resort to threats and even verbal abuse....make sure that you have support in place for yourself and your son.....and try looking into some NA meetings.

Hang in there and do what you feel that you have to.

You all deserve better than that which you are dealing with now.


PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..

Becoming undone
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 927
   Posted 2/15/2008 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   
You have any and all support that we can give you within the confines of cyberspace...I hope that you take care of you and your son...don't forget about those two(your son+you) while trying to get your husband better...I hope you have family and friends to help you and your son though this difficult time...anytime you want to talk, vent, cry, etc...we're here...I can do no better than say look at the previous posts...Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as well...

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 2/19/2008 5:10 AM (GMT -6)   

I a fairly sure since she has not been back she did what she had in mind and I certainly hope she was ready to "run to the hills" becauce this was going to be one angry fellow when she got done if she did what we all knew she was going to have to do.

Unfortunately these kinds of situations is alot of the undoing of CPers since this action hurts those who take their meds correctly and as prescribed. It probably was only a matter of time before he hung hisself out to dry but he wont see it that way if she intervened.

He had all the symptoms of multiple addictions and the fact he was involving his own son was worse and had something happened to him the son would have had to live with that in his mind.

Trust I truly hope that you are OK with this and hoping to see you return and let us know how it turned out. I hope you understand that this isnt how we do things at all.

It seems you have realized for sometime that soething wasnt right and I applaud your willingness to attempt to save his life and literally this is what your doing most likely.

If approached int he correct way you may be able to be kept out of it and his Docs can do several things to "find him" out on their own if someone were to put a bug in their ear. That way peace will be kept at home at least.

Say if he were to be called in for a count at a certain time of the month his count on one thing or another would have to be off right? Also any blood work would show if he didnt have exactly which meds he was suppose to have either right? All this will place the finding on someone other then her.

Anyway sure hope it worked out for  the best for all here.

2 knee replacements & a hip.
spondylosis at L-4,5 & S1
arthritis,sciatica all that being a CPer entails!
If you stumble make it part of the dance!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 2/20/2008 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Trust - It's been a little while since you posted this... I was just thinking about you, wanted to see how things were going!
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)

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