ALCOHOL, PERCOCET, ADDERRAL, KLONOPIN, ATIVAN AND WEED
Addiction runs in both my and my husband’s families. My Dad died of cirrhosis from chronic alcoholism. I can’t even believe what we went through as little kids, but i will write about that in a another blog.
My husband’s Mom was a heavy smoker and died of heart attack in 1996. His Dad was also a recovering alcoholic passed away in 2014 from a cardiovascular disease.
He started drinking when his Mom died and had relapsed on and off since then.
When he developed tolerance and physical dependence to the prescription medications, he was left with untreated pain and anxiety, and eventually relapsed on alcohol use.
But today, he has been sober for 18 months.
- Percocet & Adderral & Klonopin & Ativan
In 2016, he hurt his back and went to the pain doctor. This doctor knew that the man was a recovering alcoholic, yet still prescribed him “percocet” – 2 pills a day, as needed with refills available. I thought that was very negligent of him and i was very upset but i didn’t know better and what was my chance to win an argument against a doctor? He thought it was the best option, he is ordering a “CT-Scan”, well it took us 3 weeks to get the CT scan and by that time, my husband had developed tolerance and physical dependence to the medication.
As soon as the medicine wore off, the pain, anxiety and insomnia came back with a vengeance! And these made him irritable. What was the fucking point of taking pain meds if it makes the pain worse? Well, turned out tolerance and physical dependence were very common and predictable drug effects and could have been managed if the doctor took the time to educate himself about pain and substance use disorder.
He could have ordered new tests to make sure there’s no progression of any disease, and/or adjusted his dose, or switched him to another medication, or tapered his doses off slowly to wean him off.
Instead, he kept writing refills and even threw in more addictive medications. Since the percocet made him drowsy, he added in the stimulant “adderral” to help him function during the day; and sedative “klonopin” to keep him stay “calm”? One minute he was irritable, anxious, angry, and in pain ; the next he was energetic, hopeful, chitter-chatter, feeling “great”.
It is worth to note that his adverse drug effects (secondary unwanted symptoms: pain, anxiety, insomnia, irritability) were the direct results of the tolerance and physical dependence rather than the development of addiction to the drugs. However, the adverse drug effects made him vulnerable to alcohol relapse and development of marijuana addiction.
It was fucking scary and little did i know what was waiting for me. As of today, he has been sober from percocet & adderral and klonopin for 18 months.
When my husband was feeling hopeless about percocet and adderral, and still felt so much pain; he turned to weed. It helped alleviate the pain a little, but it wasn’t sustainable and he still had to take percocet every once in a while. Plus the weed costed $1,000 – $1,500 a month and stank the whole house. At this point, we were arguing every day, and I knew I needed to do something. I don’t know what happened, but shortly after this, he moved out of the house…and we had separated for 6 months.
He is back home now and we’re trying to move on but we have so much to work on ourselves.