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Should I confront my boyfriend's mother about sharing her prescription drugs with him?

By Anonymous February 5, 2015 - 11:40am
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My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half now. Overall, things are okay, but I am worried that my boyfriend may be addicted to drugs and alcohol. Whenever the slightest thing goes wrong he turns to alcohol or prescription drugs to make himself feel better. To make things worse his mother shares her Vicodin and anti-anxiety medications with my boyfriend. Although, it is very likely that he suffers from anxiety, he is uninsured and has not been diagnosed by a doctor. I think his mother is trying to help him with his anxiety, but does not consider the damage that may be occurring from sharing her prescriptions. Whenever he claims he has back pain he asks her for Vicodin, which she gives him. She also gives him a monthly allowance of Vicodin, which he seems to run out of very quickly.

The other alarming thing is that his father is a recovering addict who was addicted to prescription drugs. His addiction is what lead his mother to divorce his father.
My boyfriend's mom is very accommodating to her sons. She often tries to avoid any conflict, as she never sets any boundaries or house rules for her adult sons. Both of her adult sons (age 29, and age 31) live with her. She pays all the bills, buys their food, pays their car insurance and phone bills. At times they are both very rude and disrespectful towards her. She does nothing to defend herself, in this way she allows them to control her.
I'm not sure if it is my place to confront her. I have been fighting my urge to do so, as I feel I am invading their family privacy. I love my boyfriend, and I only want for him to do better, but as time goes on I can no longer ignore the reality in front of me. I know I could walk away from all of this, but I at least want to try to help before I decide what I need to do for myself.

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Dear anon,

Thank you for visiting the EmpowHER community and for seeking advice about your boyfriend's situation.

I understand that you love your boyfriend and that your concerns are valid. 

All drugs come with the potential for adverse side effects, but the risks that come with prescription medications are overseen by a doctor. If someone takes medication not prescribed by their own doctor, those risks aren’t being managed. When discussing taking other people's medication, the FDA notes, “a person can die from misusing or abusing prescription painkillers."

The likelihood of someone becoming addicted is dependent on a number of factors—the drug itself, how they take it, genes, and age. If one abuses a pain medication like Vicodin, they can become addicted, often leading to taking even harder drugs like OcyContin and worse, Heroin. 

When someone becomes addicted to drugs and or alcohol, they rule their behavior. The things that are normally important become unimportant. They may get into fights with family, even steal from them and others to keep up with the addiction. 

Your boyfriend's mother may or may not know how dangerous her submissive behavior is. You are really in a tough situation as you know how wrong this is and you want to do something about it. 

If you think your boyfriend might be addicted, you cannot fix the problem by yourself, but there are some steps you can take.

The first step I would take is to seek out an Al-Anon support group in your area and speak with a sponsor about the situation. A well qualified sponsor will be able to guide you through establishing a plan to confront your boyfriend and possibly even his mother. 

Anon, I wouldn't go at this alone. It is something that will require a lot of patience and thought before addressing the situation.

Have you heard of Al-Anon? Here is the website http://www.al-anon.org. 

I also included a link to the EmpowHER community ]]>5 Steps To Take When A Loved One Is Struggling With Addiction]]> I think this article will be helpful for you.

I hope that you can find some solutions and I wish you the very best of luck. Will you please keep us posted?



February 5, 2015 - 2:36pm
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