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Talk about your experiences with others.

When it comes to a loved one's drug or alcohol use families can sometimes feel lost or struggle to express themselves.

Our forum gives you the opportunity to share and discuss your feelings in a safe environment. Feel free to share them but please note that anything that raises a safe-guarding or confidentiality concern may be removed and acted upon. Adfam takes no responsibility for the quality or content of the responses.

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My Codeine problem by

I am writing this as a way to document my progress but also maybe help others. How did I get in this mess? Most people who are addicted to painkillers usually have a 'trigger event' Mine was 3 broken ribs, for which I took co-codamol. I noticed at that time a euphoria and also removal of all the worries. And believe me there are a few: As a parent of 2 small children (2 and 5) with a very demanding job and wife that is retraining and therefore earns very little we have money problems because of a massive mortgage and nearly a grand is paid a month in childcare. I am on my own with the kids most of my waking hours that are not at work, because my wife is a trainee teacher as spends every waking hour lesson planning or marking. She makes £800 a month after tax which is crazy. She works 3.5 days a week and spends the other days socialising. I am trying to be ok with that. Hence Codeine was a form of escape. It took 3 years to get from occasional abuse through to the very serious situation of of taking nearly 600mg codeine a day as codeine phosphate tablets. I found an easy way to get them from online pharmacies. They cost a lot of money and i must have spent 5 grand at least. I also drink a bottle of wine a night and take diazepam too. This situation was obviously unsustainable. But, amazingly no-one knows as far as I am aware. You will be thinking - how could I let this get so bad, but those of you know that codeine resistance builds in plateaus - one day 90mg will do nothing at all and you need to up your dose to get the same feeling. What now I am now absolutely case iron determined to sort this out. Obviously I feel ashamed for spending money like this and being so irresponsible, but that works as a motivator for me now. My taper is going to have a lot of discomfort associated with it - but will drop quite quick then slowly reduce after that. This is mainly because of the expense of the tablets, and because I want to get to a safe dose as quickly as I can. Where am I now? Totady I am down from 600mg to 330mg. This is almost a safe amount to take a day (allegedly 240mg) so that's something. I will now reduce to 90mg a day and then drop 15mg a day. There has been a lot of symptoms - all of the ones you read about. But the worst has been the depression - its been difficult to get out of bed even. Especially as you gather your thoughts and know you face a day of discomfort. I take 5-htp and this helps a lot. Exercise really helps, and vitamin B seems to help too. The other golden rule is to keep continually busy until the end of the day. Having 2 small children and a wife that works all evenings has both filled this time but also made loneliness a bit of an enemy. If there are any positives I have a sex life again and also am enjoying going to the toilet (sorry if this is oversharing). My stomach bloating is massively reduced and I can see my abdominal muscles again. For alcohol - I strictly limit my drinking, but I do allow myself 2 glasses of wine, because its dangerous to stop straight away. After a week, I will cut this out completely - that will save £3 a day (I was buying a bottle a day). The only way I could reduce my drinking was to wait until later in the evening before I started. For me, this is 9pm (we go to bed at 11). Hopefully I can keep posting here as a progress the bumps along the way. I have noticed no two days are the same - some are not too bad - today is OK. Yesterday was terrible. There's only one thing missing for me now - that's someone to talk to. I'm too ashamed to talk to friends so the anonymous forum is worth a try....?

Am I doing the right thing? by

Hi everyone. I guess ill get right into it. My dad is an alcoholic and has been one for around 9 years and is functioning (kind of). He owns a hotel which means alcohol is extremely accessible and there isn’t anything I can really do. He does have his moments of being very drunk, I don’t even think he knows when he goes too far with it. I’m not sure how to help him any more. I’m also not sure my approach is the correct one so was looking for other people’s opinions? Im very laid back with him, as I don’t want to start having him hide alcohol from me and I don’t want him to feel too bad about himself when doing it as I’m aware it is now an illness. However, he does come to me and say he knows he has a problem and is always saying he’s ‘cutting back’. But this tends to fall through which is going to happen with him having the hotel I guess. His girlfriend takes a very different approach and gives him a real hard time over it and get very embarrassed when he’s seen as drunk which seems to have a different effect and makes him feel really bad about himself and he hides the drink from her. They don’t sell the hotel and get him help which I don’t understand. She thinks that I encourage my dad to drink and has said this before which I don’t believe because of my approach. I don’t think I do. I find that my dad comes to me and confides in me how he’s feeling but it leaves me unable to do a lot for him with it being so accessible and then I advise him on what I think and tell him he needs to do it for him. I don’t know which approach is better. I am in my early 20’s and have only seen non functioning alcoholics so far in my life but this is somewhat inbeteeen but is a problem. Is the laid back approach next to useless (or encoraging)? or do be a bit harsher maybe? Just feeling a bit useless at the moment. And what do I advise him when he opens up to me?

1 post

feeling involved- but I'm not. by

hello. please don't judge me. I come from a loving home and family, I'm 28. I have a 2 year old with my husband of 7 years. his parents died when he was 12. simce, he has struggled with PTSD and depression. hes got himself into heavy debt, and as a way out, I think he has turned to selling drugs. he is not at home often, he has nothing around our child, doesn't smoke near her but visibly needs help. I know he has struggled before with cocaine. I am in no way shape or form, involved with what he gets up too outside of our home, but I feel like because I have a very good feeling he is up to no good , it makes me feel involved. this upsets me, I cannot find a way to leave this man. does this make sense ?

Drugs, alcohol and mental health

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Prescription opioid addiction by

I am new to this website and forum. We have so many questions as we are in what is to us a totally alien and worrying situation, but it's a situation that I can see is familiar to people posting with such sympathy and humanity on here. Briefly, our son has been on opioids from the GP for several years and he does acknowledge that he's addicted. He is incredibly angry and blames the original GP who put him on this drug. He has a young family whom we see often, although they don't live near us. He has just had a year with basically no work after attempting to be self-employed, and with bits of financial support from both sets of parents he was trying to follow a drug reduction programme (with a different GP) but with only limited success. However because the family was suffering a severe shortage of money he has now accepted quite a well-paid job and is pleased with his situation in many ways-- he certainly seems less depressed now he's not stuck at home and has a bit of money in his pocket. BUT he presented this as "we" (his wife and the wider family) were forcing him to go back to work against his will, so he can't now continue the reduction programme. He told us a while back that the GP had said he wouldn't be able to do the reduction programme and hold down a job. This goes round and round in my head. It seems such an unhelpful thing to have said... but perhaps it's true? So my big, first question on this forum is this: I do realise that reducing is incredibly hard, but can anyone tell me whether it is possible to work and reduce drug dependency at the same time, or is he indeed in an either/or situation? I don't know what to believe.


2 posts

Guilt by

First time joining a forum... here goes! Today I had to call the police on my 22 year old son as he trashed his room, was aggressive and threatening to me. This is due to cocaine addiction coupled with Valium addiction which has been going on and off for last 4 years. He has been in and out of young offenders and just two weeks ago spent his first time on remand in the big jail! Out on the Tuesday and back on drugs by the Saturday. This was after promising us me and his dad and also his pregnant girlfriend while he was in jail that his life was changing! However the last fortnight has been the worst by far. He’s never held a job for more than a fortnight, doesn’t pay his way and blatantly tells us he’s taken coke and it’s evident when he’s taken Valium. He does have mental health issues however I believe these have been brought on by the drug abuse. So tonight he is now in police custody facing 7 charges in court tomorrow morning as he started fighting with police! I have made the somewhat difficult decision that this time I will not be visiting him nor speaking to him on the phone as he will almost certainly be jailed. This has not been an easy decision however we have been through hell for four years and for my own health and sanity I need to make this decision. I feel so guilty but I can’t live like this any longer. So very sad.


4 posts

My brother won’t admit he’s still using by

Hello, I desperately want to help my brother out of the cocaine hell he is in. He admited to using heavily, earlier this year, after a lot of money went missing. He now insists he is not using but other things have gone missing, and even though he works full-time he never has any money. I know he has not pulled himself out of a habit that saw him using as soon as he woke up to suddenly being drug free. I offered to pay for him to go to rehab, have asked if I can book doctors/counselling for him but he insists he doesn’t have a problem. How can I get him help? How can I get him to stop lying? Any advice would be so gratefully received.


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How to deal with addiction stereotype within the family by

My sister took drugs, mainly heroine, for over 20 years. Then six years ago she accidentally overdosed and passed away. Her children were taken into care and our family settled into a time of grieving; and also I must admit relief. During her time she did things to our family that caused no end of upset, but at the end of the day she was still my sister, so I had to deal with a pull of emotions - hating the addict but loving my sister. In time, and with help, I've come to understand the lack of control a drug addict has over their own behaviour and have forgiven what has passed. This has finally brought me peace and allowed me to move on with my life, without the constant anger and self-protection mechanisms that came to control my own personality. Unfortunately my wife still believes a drug addict is in full control of their destiny and all my sister's actions, including her ultimate death, were her own fault and deserving of no sympathy. She drags up all the bad things my sister did during her life and insists I stop feeling sorry for her. This is now causing old wounds to be reopened for me and is increasing tension within my own family. Does anyone have any advice I can offer my wife so she understands the pain her views are having on me?

I just lost my brother by

Hi all. My brother died earlier this year from alcoholism. He was only in his mid forties and we are all heartbroken. We tried to help him but he locked us out of the house and denied he had a problem. For the last year of his life I think he was drinking every day and after his death we found bottles of vodka in his home which he was obviously drinking neat. I'm having a lot of issues coming to terms with his death and i dont think I ever will. I am trying to understand this addiction that is more powerful than love and family, that drove my successful brother to self destruct. I also cannot understand his denial. How could he pretend that everything was ok when it was clearly not? I would love to hear your stories and if you can help me understand this disease I would be very grateful. Thank you