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Exclamation Mom addicted to painkillers - July 28th 2011, 02:43 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of substance use, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Hi, this is my first post, I am sorry it is so long...

To make a long story short, I am 18 and an only child. I go to a great college, have good friends, and a great family. During middle school, my mom was an alcoholic. Not abusive or anything crazy, but she loved to drink. She finally quit. Then throughout high school I noticed my mom was different...she was always spaced out (talked slowly, didn't make sense, forgetful.) I figured out she was taking way too many painkillers. She is a nurse so we always had a lot of medicine around the house so I never thought anything of it until she became addicted.

She was so great at hiding it, and I was all alone. My senior year she mixed painkillers and sleeping medicine and had an awful reaction (hallucinations.) It scarred me. My dad and my mom's family took her to a high end treatment center and she was there for 3 months.

She relapsed on my graduation day...when I was giving the big speech. It broke my heart. I talked with a therapist for awhile.

Fast forward- I am about to start my sophomore year in college 6 hours away. My mom drinks occasionally and I am so worried about her. The fear has taken over me. Every night during the summer I wake up to check to make sure she is still breathing.

I'm terrified...and now I have an uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol. I have never taken a sip because of my past but for some reason I want to drink until I pass out.

Last edited by SparklingWine; July 28th 2011 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Adding appropriate prefix
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Re: Mom addicted to painkillers - July 28th 2011, 04:09 AM

Hello, Barb. Welcome to TeenHelp! =)

First of all, I know you're smart enough to know better... but I'm going to say it anyway. DON'T RELY ON ALCOHOL OR DRUGS TO HELP YOU COPE! Ironically, many people who witness substance abuse end up falling victim to substance abuse later on in life. You would think common sense overrules the poor decision, but it doesn't. You've watched your mother cope with her personal problems by using substances. In a way, I suppose it has worked for her... but what has she sacrificed in order to numb her mind to the pain she's experiencing? She's losing you, she's losing respect, and eventually, she may lose her life. Never, EVER let yourself go down the same path your mother has, no matter how unbearable the pain may seem. Keep trying alternatives - talking to a therapist is a good one. Talking to other loved ones is also good, as is listening to music, writing in a journal, exercising, creating more goals for yourself (during and after college), etc. You are stronger than your mother. You don't need alcohol or drugs to help you get through your struggles.

Unfortunately, you have a difficult choice to make. You can go off to college and hope your mom will have a supportive network of people who will watch over her (husband, aunts/uncles, grandparents, friends, co-workers, etc.), or you can give up on that dream and stay home with your mom. I am going to strongly recommend you choose the first option. Does that make you a cold-hearted person? Absolutely not! Your mother is ruining her life. There is no need to ruin yours as well. You can pursue your dreams while doing everything you can to ensure she's watched over during your absence. If you believe your mother is in imminent danger, you and your family members can always arrange to have her hospitalized. She would be put on suicide watch, and they may even be able to force her into rehab. You can give your father and other family members phone numbers, information, and so on. After that, though, you need to recognize your limitations. You could always do more, but that would mean sacrificing things in your own life, and that's just not fair. Even then, you can't be with your mom 24/7. You can't take the pills and alcohol away from her every time.

I wish you and your family all the best. I am so sorry to hear about your situation, and I hope you will be able to find peace regarding all of this.

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Re: Mom addicted to painkillers - July 28th 2011, 04:31 AM

Thank you so much for your input, I appreciate your feedback
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Re: Mom addicted to painkillers - July 28th 2011, 04:04 PM

Hey there, I understand what you're going through. I have a whole big family history of alcoholism. My whole life I've been told that I am prone to alcoholism if I drank a lot. Because of my past and what not, I've mainly steered clear of drinking. When I do drink, it's never to get drunk, I do it with people I trust, I don't drink a lot and I stay hydrated. You're 18, so I can't and won't advise you to drink. But if you do ( and I strongly, strongly discourage it), do it safely. As Robin said, never user substances to self medicate. That's how addiction begins. You know what drinking and drugs do to people. You know the affect it has on you when others drink. There are other ways to deal with your emotions rather than drink. I advise continuing on in therapy or finding a friend to talk to. My best advice for you is to live your life free of alcohol and drugs. Go off to college. Embrace this amazing opportunity. Embrace life. Hope this helped. Take care.

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