Addiction to Drugs/Drug Abuse
Hello I am a Husband that has an addicted wife.My wife is addicted to Suboxone,we have been married for 18 years,she is my high school sweetheart.We have 2 teen aged daughters,We have been a happy family for 14 of those years.It all started when she complained of headaches and backaches and started to use hydrocodone for these pains.We have no insurance so all the pills that were bought,were bought from friends.Well i noticed after a while money started missing and bills werent being payed,i found out she was using our bill money to buy these drugs.I never knew she was buying them like that.After a year of on and off again,catching her in lies we split up for a very short while.She stopped using hydrocodone all together.I was so pleased! i though we had this thing beat..Well her brothers(who are both addicted to suboxone)introduced her to that and now she has been hooked on it for the remainder of time we have been together.I have tried everything to help her but i cant live with the lies and stealing from us.I love her with all my heart but i hate seeing my daughters in such pain.I just went through the death of my mom and dad,and while i was trying to find money for a proper burial she was stealing from me and pawning everything for these drugs.What can i do? I have such an emptiness in my heart now,how can i survive this.My daughters are so hurt and i have been with her forever.I worry about her and i cant understand why she picked her brothers and drugs,over all of us.Im so confused.
First, please forgive my long delay in answering you. I became quite ill, possibly food poisoning, and had to be hospitalized to receive IV fluids. This was several weeks ago, and I had to take several weeks off from this position. I am just now getting back on my feet. I am very sorry; you probably thought I had forgotten you. Not true!
After giving your question and difficult problems a lot of thought and prayer I actually have some rather simple suggestions. It isn't what you want to hear; you want a miracle, and I cannot offer that, however, I will offer you the advice that is given by professionals to families of addicts.
First, you are not alone. Believe it or not, millions of Americans are living like you. Prescription drug abuse has become more common than heroin or cocaine abuse. This is true. You MUST find a Nar-Anon or Al-Anon group in your community to attend. I realize this sounds so simple, and for me to suggest it probably sounds almost cold and heartless. However, that is the starting place for spouses and family members suffering as you are. You can find the phone number prior to attending, and someone will be available to speak to you at once, (or may call you right back). They will give you the addresses and times of meetings where you live. In some cases you may have someone offer to meet you and attend with you.
Bobby, you will find that just walking into the room with all those other hurting folks will feel comforting. I know what I speak of; I was in your position approximately 24 years ago. I was angry beyond belief. At times I wished my husband would have a car wreck and die! It gets very ugly, and so do your emotions. But, your emotions are important. You cannot directly help your wife until she is ready. Until she is ready you must care for yourself and your daughters. They need their father's stability right now. That feels like too much, I realize, because right now its all you can do to put one foot in front of the other.
You have money problems, probably some legal problems by now (if your wife has tried to obtain pills by fraud or forgery), and you probably feel as though you cannot continue. This is where the support of these groups will help. If you cannot get a member to walk in with you, I PROMISE that just walking in the room you will feel at home. You will see the familiar emptiness on the faces, much like your own, and you will soon feel the hopelessness, anger and rage that prevails among the group. When I first attended I felt resentful, as if I was doing it for "him", however, I soon realized it was a place just for ME, where I could go and get support and comfort. Someone always cared there. If you attend long enough, you will select a sponsor, a person who is experienced enough to act like a "mentor" to you. You can select a male or female, but usually it is wise to choose your own gender. We are so vulnerable at these times, and having someone who cares, understands, and is SOBER and not high can be so uplifting.
I hope by now that my answer doesn't seem quite so simple any more. It isn't. In fact, it is AA or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) that is the most recommended start for our spouses who are addicted.
I will be honest with you, Bobby, and say that when you start getting stronger and building yourself up, you may decide you do not want to stay in the marriage. You will probably always love your wife, but as you become more confident you may realize that it is no longer worth it. That's what happened with me. I got out of the marriage despite the fact that I had 3 children-- one of them an infant. I swallowed my pride, (what was left, that is), and asked my parents if I could move back in with them for a while until I secured a job. I just put one foot in front of the other, and before long I had traveled a little way. It is much like the slogan which both groups use: ONE DAY AT A TIME. Lots of the slogans may seem cheesy or corny to you, but as they say in the programs, "It works if you work it", and it does. If you work the steps and the program it will heal you.
I don't know where you live, Bobby, but if you provide me with your city and state I will see what I can do to locate a meeting place for you, plus someone you can talk to on the phone ASAP. Also, many of these meetings are appropriate for older children, because they need the help and support, too. You mentioned you had two teenaged daughters; there is a fantastic support group in larger communities called 'Al-a-Teen'. There, your daughters will find others their own age to talk to and oftentimes the young people form friendships, which teens can always use.
Also, check out Amazon or Alibris for used books on "Drug Addiction" and you will see a plethora of good books written by family members just like us. There are also many books written FOR the addict, but as you will learn in Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, you can lead a horse to water, but.... you know the rest. Our family members sometimes have to be left alone to hit rock bottom, and rock bottom can be jail for theft, arrests for forgery, possession of controlled substances, DWI, etc. There will, and MUST come a time when you have to care for yourself and your daughters, as cold as that sounds. This is an evil disease, and it is a family disease, hence the advice I've given you to find support for yourself and your precious girls.
Now, Bobby I welcome your writing back to me if you need to. I will attempt to find you a group or someone to speak to right away if you just give me your city. I know how scary the first steps can be. However, when you have attended your first meeting, you will find understanding and true friendship. Each person's story is different, but the funny thing is that each person's story will sound so much like yours! That's why this is called a disease.
I will give you my email address. I do hope to hear back from you. You will be in my prayers.
Your question pulled at my heart. I didn't answer it right away because I needed to give it some thought and prayer. I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN YOU. I will send you a more detailed answer tonight. Please don't think I forgot. I just want to guide you in the right direction. More later...
Thank you for understanding.