In the last decade or so, opioid abuse has been a huge problem throughout the United States. The opioid epidemic started in the late 1900s, when doctors began prescribing pain pills without really knowing how they affected people. Even now that doctors know how these types of drugs affect people and how addicted they are, they’re still widely prescribed without so much as a warning to patients. Because of this, many people become easily addicted to or dependent on pain pills.
If you believe that your wife is struggling with opioid abuse, you may feel the need to question her about her potential addiction. However, going into a conversation without any forethought can cause disaster. Here’s what you should do if you think your wife is addicted to pain pills.
Educate Yourself on Opioid Abuse
Before you talk to your spouse about her potential opioid addiction, it’s important to educate yourself on opioids. Read about different signs of addiction and think about how they might be manifesting in your wife. Common warning signs of opioid addiction include loss of appetite, drowsiness, digestion issues, agitation, and depression. Think about how the opioid addiction crisis started and understand that your wife’s addiction isn’t her fault. During this time you should also learn more about the treatment options that are out there.
Talking about addiction can be difficult, especially from your wife’s point of view. Many opioid users get addicted by accident, forming a dependence on a drug that a doctor prescribes them, only to have the rug pulled out from under them once the prescription runs out. Understand that your wife probably doesn’t want to be going through this either, or that she may not have recognized it as a problem yet.
Don’t be an Enabler
If you’re engaging in any enabling behavior, it’s time to stop. Don’t lend your wife money to buy drugs or do drugs with her under any circumstances. By ceasing these enabling behaviors, it may be harder for your wife to engage in addictive behavior. Instead, help her cope or talk to her about what might be on her mind. Helping with the underlying issues is much more effective.
Have a Solution Ready
When you get ready to talk to your wife, don’t be accusatory. You need to go in with a solid plan and actionable steps that you can take together in order to help her get sober. This means researching treatment centers and talking to them on the phone. You may even schedule an appointment for her or reach out on her behalf.
You can’t admit someone without their permission in most states, so you’ll have to understand if she says no to inpatient treatment. You shouldn’t pressure her to do something that she doesn’t want to do or isn’t ready for her. Just in case she isn’t ready for treatment, you should brainstorm a few backup ideas, like therapy or detox.
Speak to a Therapist
While you likely understand that this is a hard time for your wife, it’s also a hard time for you. You shouldn’t have to go through it alone. If you’re having a hard time coping with your wife’s addiction, speak to a therapist in the meantime. It may help to calm your nerves. They may also offer tips for how to speak to your wife about her addiction.
Help Her Seek Treatment for Opioid Abuse When She’s Ready
If your wife is ready for opioid abuse treatment, that’s great! Tell her what you’ve learned and help her set up an appointment. To learn more about our treatment programs and the services we offer, give us a call today.