Avatar universal

Boyfriend Addicted to Vicodin

Hi everyone. I have never done this before but just wanted to see what kind of advice I could possibly get.
I'm 22 years old and I have been dating my boyfriend for 3 years. I have known him since I was 15 years old and words can not describe how insanely close we are. When we first started dating, his grandma was going through hospice at his family's home and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to see anyone go through. Him and his grandma were extremely close.
Long story short, both his mother and him started taking vicodin. His mom could get it because her husband is prescribed and my bf could get it from multiple friends of his. I was aware that they both liked taking it sometimes but didn't think it was too big of a deal because I didn't realize how much he was actually consuming.
I have chronic migraines and none of the doctors I have seen can give me anything that helps so about 2 years ago my doctor prescribed me to vicodin for when I couldn't handle the pain. I, stupidly, always had the bottle in my purse and after awhile I would notice that I would run out faster than I could explain. After a few months of this happening I started counting them and realizing that there was no other explanation than him taking them. We would get into huge fights because he would deny that he touched it at all. Eventually he confessed to me that he had been stealing them from me and to be honest with you I'm still hurt over that. Since then we have had tons of long conversations about his problem and him wanting to quit. We have both stayed up at night crying about how serious this has gotten for him.
He has quit at least 5 times in the last 2 years but none of them have lasted for more than two weeks. When he can't get them from anyone else he has gotten them from his mom even though she knows he struggles with addiction. He is never in a good mood when he isn't on vicodin and so whenever they are together she just gives him some to make him happy. There have also been multiple days where we have been in my room and I walk out to go upstairs but forget something and walk back into my room to find him going through my purse. I do not get vicodin anymore for my headaches only because I don't want them in the house. My trust for him in this manner has completely disappeared and I'm sure has hurt our relationship even more than I realize.
But about 4 months ago he actually quit! Which was very hard for him and the withdrawals lasted at least a week and were a nightmare and I'm so proud of him. But we are both living with my parents at the moment and he is so depressed and has headaches almost everyday and he doesn't have the energy to do barely anything. He doesn't have a job and hasn't hung out with his friends very much and I'm really worried. I'm torn because part of me wants to tell him to just force himself to get out there and set goals for himself and everything will fall into place, but another part of me feels sympathy toward him and wants to give him enough time to completely recover. We are both worried that when he goes back to work he will be tempted to take vicodin again because that's when he always took it the most before.
I know that this post probably makes him sound a certain way and I don't have to prove anything to you guys, but all I will say is he is the love of my life and he is worth it.
But I have said to him that if he goes back to taking vicodin, even once, it's over. And I'm completely serious. This addiction has put us both through so much and I don't have anything left to give. These last 3 years have all been about what's best for him so there comes a time when I have to make a decision that's best for me. Of course I will always always always be there for him as a friend if this were to happen. But the advice I'd like is if anyone has any suggestions on how to make sure he doesn't go back. I know there are no guarantees but I just want to do as much as I can to keep him on the right road and help him out of this depression.
Thank you so much for any help at all! It's much appreciated.
Best Answer
Avatar universal
Hello -

Sorry to hear about your boyfriends struggles with addiction, and I commend your support for him to get and stay clean.... I also want to commend him for 4 months of sobriety as well!!! Anyway, I'm going to ask if he is attending any aftercare? Also if he has been to a doctor for a checkup? Also, do you know how much he was using per day when he was using? I ask these questions because there could be a few things going on here so it would be useful to know a few of these things... My gut thinks that he should be in some sort of professional after care that covers both psychiatric and  medical checkup along with AA or NA... Your BF started using opiates at a young age and without scaring you they do effect the chemistry of the brain.. Though everything usually gets back it does take time -- some people mere weeks or months and others it could take longer, so a professional opinion would be extremely helpful... Another thought is that he is going through a sort of mourning period -- us addicts, as you saw first hand will cheat, lie and steal for their DOC (drug of choice) and he was used to being fed pills by his mom when he wasn't "feeling right" so his addicted mind may be telling him to mope around until everyone gives in and "allows" him to use.. Either way I think he may need to seek the help of a professional to help him work through this stage.. Anyway, I hope this helps and I'm sure some people with more experience will post with their suggestions.. Again, I commend your support and your BF is a lucky guy and will thank you one day for saving him.. Please keep us updated...
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Avatar universal
Hi KayKoo -

Sounds like a lot going with him -- very serious with the prostate cancer signs so as you said you are working on the insurance... Let's assume he is going to be fine in that respect and let me answer some of your questions...

Firstly, let's talk about AA/NA.. I'm the least religious person you might meet, and I walked into the rooms thinking the same thing as your BF.. I heard plenty of AA people speak about it like it was religious using words like blessed, grateful, I pray and etc... Before I "outed" my addiction I attended a few meetings as a guest for a few close friends sober anniversary so I heard the lingo and it confirmed to me that if,I,ever became clean I would not walk into a room as an addict.. Now remember during this time I was using but nobody knew I was an addict, yet.. Fast forward a year or so and I decided to face my addiction in a serious way and I refused to go into the rooms so I relapsed less than 2 months and went another year or so using.. When it all fell apart I decided to quit -- I came clean to my wife and close friends and began detox BUT I said I would NOT goto the rooms -- I will do it on my own.. Then during the first few days of the WDs (which were worse than the last one) I decided I needed to do things differently this time and one of them was to give AA/NA a shot.. I called the same friend that I went with for their sober anniversary and asked for help... Long story short they took me to a meeting, I wasn't happy to say the least but I went because I knew deep down I needed to see... Anyway, it was a beginner meeting I heard words like "higher power" and "believe in God as you see it" as well as blessed and grateful, and praying all the religious stuff that I DO NOT buy into.. So I spoke with my friend after the meeting (who happens to be Muslim) and said listen dude I want to be stay clean but I'm not turning into a Christian, I'll do this on my own (btw, I'm Jewish).. He laughed at me like I was a fool.. He's like what did you think I gave up being a Muslim and then he explained to me that the higher power thing is just believing in something other than yourself to give you the strength to stay sober, get your a-s-s off the couch and get a job, stay positive, stay focused on your sobriety and etc... They use the word God so it relates not to say some people do not take it literally and they even tell you it a God or higher power as you see it.. Your higher power doesn't have to be God I'm the literal sense it just has to be Something you can turn to when your ready to pick up again and say " hey please give me the strength to not pick up and use today" that's it, nothing more... Now, like I said some people view it as the traditional God and some like me use kind of a mix and others use it in a completely different way.. Nobody questions you on that, nobody asks you to qualify your definition of YOUR higher power because it's "as you see it".. I am not any more religious (which isn't much) than I was before I got clean and I do not plan on becoming more religious but I do believe that an addict left alone in his or her own head/devices will eventually go back to using BUT by having a place to turn to  and ask for strength to fight an urge to use or for strength for a life situation just makes sense to me...  I'm sorry to go on and on about this but I just want to make the distinction of what happens in these rooms because it's not what people think.. I wouldn't be there if it was, I can promise you that. With that said there are other things out there besides AA/NA like out patient group therapy or an addiction specialist but they do usually require insurance AA/NA does not so that's a plus for your BF as well.. Again this is just my opinion but I can tell you that I was 100% positive that AA/NA was not for me but after giving it a few tries with an open mind and I have had (so far) a very smooth recovery without too many urges... Staying clean and keeping positive is not about religion addiction can take hold of anyone regardless of religion, race or creed so,why would A PROVEN program (AA/NA) that has saved the lives of so many people from so many different backgrounds be geared towards ONE religion or type of person??? Well, it doesn't because it would work then... Let me know your thoughts, thanks...
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Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your response! He actually doesn't have any health insurance and no he has not attended any aftercare. We are working on getting him health insurance as soon as possible because he has had a hernia the last two years from working labor jobs (unfortunately opiates are the only thing that help that pain for him) and he is also showing signs of prostate cancer/a prostate infection. It is very scary not knowing, when it's been going on for so long. He was usually taking ten 10mg vicodins a day. He is 24 years old so yes he did start at a very young age. I'm not trying to bring personal beliefs into this so I apologize if it offends you but my boyfriend has found that AA and NA mainly revolve around religious beliefs which he doesn't particularly relate to. Every place he has been to isn't completely accepting of anyone who doesn't believe in a higher power. But I'm hearing on here that a lot of people recommend  aftercare. Is it along the same lines as AA or NA? And does he need health insurance for it? He has had a very tough childhood and now with the addiction I completely agree that he needs both psychiatric and medical help from a professional. There's only so much I can do and although I always try to put myself in his shoes, sometimes I'm worried that my own feelings and frustrations get in the way of guiding him in the most effective way. Thank you again for your response and your time and advice is much appreciated! Have a wonderful day :)
Helpful - 0
1235186 tn?1656987798
the more active he is the faster he will heal. he can certainly be working,
exercising, attending support groups, na, aa, celebrate recovery, counseling to help prevent relapse.
he shouldn't be with any of the people, go to the places or do the same things that he did when he was using.

it will take time for the trust and relationship to be restored after he lied and stole pills from you.
Helpful - 0
1827057 tn?1397520277
Four months and only vicodin, He should be feeling better by now. Are you sure He is not still using sometimes? Also if He has been clean four months and is feeling that mopey I would set up an appointment with a psych doctor because if He is not still using here and there He sounds like a classic depression case. I have been that way before and it takes a lot of forcing activity and lots of work to get out of it. Also they could start him on an anti depressant. You are a great person for sticking with him. See if you can convince him to see a professional. I think it will help greatly. Hang in there friend ;)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi & welcome! Aftercare would be extremely beneficial.. This isn't a journey to be walked alone. It's great that you support him but being around recovering addicts who have "been there & done that" will help him so much.
You can also introduce him to this forum! We would love to meet & speak with him.
Helpful - 0
3048701 tn?1486130938

Your boyfriend won't get better unless something happens to break the cycle.  In other words, he will never be "cured" of this addiction, but the only way he can get clean (i.e., get into recovery) is to either hit rock bottom or have some sort of awakening.  Only once he is determined to do anything and everything within his power to renounce the pills, can he truly recover.  It takes a couple of weeks to get through the physical withdrawals, then he's got to be prepared for the mental challenge.  If he keeps failing at his attempts to get clean, you should encourage him to get help through an addiction psychiatrist or an inpatient rehab program.  
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Avatar universal
Stay strong! Man I feel for him as well espically his mother kinda helping him in a way is hard, also have him tried Rehab or at least detoxing at home? I highly doubt you can watch him all day since you have a house and work. I've learn you gotta QUIT yourself no one is going to do it for you and stop for good all it does makes you feel good then what? spend money on it over and over helping other people make quick hard working money, also I know because I'm going through it or was at least for awhile still is. I'm just staying low-key and detoxing more and run and etc. I will pray and I hope the best for both of y'all! God bless!
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Avatar universal
Hello, im sorry i have no experience with pills but this comment will put your post up top again : )
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