Codeine alcohol addiction?

(23 Posts)
redemptionsong Tue 19-Feb-13 21:38:41

Soo angry and upset, my sister (ex alcoholic) after years of been dry has started drinking again, looking back it may have started over 2 yrs ago but apparently she has it under control this time . . I think not! She has had X, Y & Z healthy problems over the years ranging from colitis to fibromyalgia to gallbladder probs - she has been taking varies amounts of meds fir yrs but I'm just discovering she has been on high dose codeine for a long time and I'm just finding out now the effects this highly addictive opiate has on people! I am so angry with her and her past problems (that she has yet to ever take responsibility for) She has always blamed her bowel or health problems and as it turns out - these are caused by codeine (possibly mixed with booze) The only reason I looked into this on Internet was I saw pill pack in her bin a dose of 30/500!!! she has been saying for years now how she can't leave house with out it n with her behaviour got suspicious ! N am seriously worried and angry with her WTF is going on!

She is an addict. Unless she wants help you can't help her apart from being there.

HildaOgden Tue 19-Feb-13 21:49:07

I feel sorry for her,I'm sure this isn't the life she thought she would have either.

She is an addict.Point her in the direction of where to get help....either NA or AA...then step back until she accepts the help.If she doesn't,you can't force her to.

I'm not quite sure what to say to be honest.

If you're only saying this because you saw a pill pack - aren't you jumping to conclusions a bit? Maybe she does have the health problems and is being prescribed codeine? Fibro is a very painful illness, isn't it?

Obviously the alcoholism must be really upsetting and worrying, and obviously it's terrible she's got sucked back in after being sober.

Do you know what might have triggered her? And will she talk to you?

redemptionsong Tue 19-Feb-13 21:55:41

You what I know, i know it!, I'm a bit of gobby bugger, n I don't suffer fools but over the years I have taken to just agreeing with her on all her silly ideas, just to keep the peace cos whenever things don't go her way she manages to blame some else - often me! But this codeine thing is a new one - I feel like a right plonker supporting her sobriety while all the while she misusing prescription drugs - and think I actually missed when the drinking issue restarted too !

But are you sure she is misusing them?

I get why you'd be worried she is, I just wonder if you're going in all guns blazing.

I can understand why you are so frustrated, though. I would be.

ChairmanWow Tue 19-Feb-13 22:09:00

Gallbladder, colitis and fibro are all painful conditions so it's not unreasonable for her to have been prescribed cocodamol. I've been prescribed the same strength for PGP!

In what way is she abusing them - are you saying she doesn't really have these conditions or is she exceeding the maximum dose? I agree it's probably not ideal for someone with a history of addiction to be taking them but try not to jump to conclusions or panic. It might simply be the case that she needs them to alleviate pain.

redemptionsong Tue 19-Feb-13 22:15:36

Thank you so much for replies, lrd your right, no she has spoken about the amazing effects of codeine for many years - I never thought anything of it, she hailed them for her bowel movements - she had gallbladder removed beginning of last yr and started getting the highdose, as far as I know - history of addiction n lying

Hilda she was involved with aa for a long time but never did acknowledgement as far as I can see and always say herself as separate from them!!!!!!!

BumpingFuglies Tue 19-Feb-13 22:18:06

You have a lot to cope with, OP! Lots going on, lots of information and new discoveries. Sounds like this is causing you a lot of stress. Have you got someone with you just now? x

Erimentha Tue 19-Feb-13 22:18:40

They pretty regularly prescribe co-codamol for fibromyalgia. I have fibro and have been on 30/500 tables 2, 4x a day for well over a year now and every day is still a struggle with pain. I also have gall bladder and bowel problems possibly relating to the fibro but pre dating the codeine. The drinking is obviously very worrying and I would suggest talking to her about it. Just to add 30/500's are only available on percription so her GP must think there is sufficient reason to prescribe them.

Turniphead1 Tue 19-Feb-13 22:29:47

Nothing to add, save that my DF is an alcoholic - dry (but not sober - massive difference) for 31 years. During his non-drinking phase, he had various other addictions - shopping, computer games - and codeine tablets.

I think you are right to understand that it's more than likely she is abusing these.

As others have said - there is nothing you can do about this. You can let her know you are aware - and tell her you are ready to assist her when she wants to get truly sober. In the meantime do nothing that "enables" any of her addictive behaviour or its consequences.

My DF has various health issues that have been caused/exercerbated by the codeine.(Hospitalised and neatly died with bleeding in his stomach). Don't ever think GPs ever consider it.

redemptionsong Tue 19-Feb-13 22:41:05

Sorry guys, i am in no way disputing these conditions require serious medication, it just that out of the blue mid conversation she dropped in fibromyalgia, like I should know she had suffered with this fr years - never heard her mention it before! And colitis and oedema and hyperthyeroid etc etc. she's not taking the 30/500 for that tho she taking it fr bowels! Maybe I am getting carried away, just not sure what to believe and Internet always puts mind into overdrive! Thank you for all replies x x x means a lot x x

ChairmanWow Wed 20-Feb-13 08:35:03

Steer clear of Dr Google - looking up stuff on the Internet can send the imagination into overdrive!

Hope you can have a frank discussion with your Sid and find out what is really happening medically. Must be very frustrating for you.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Wed 20-Feb-13 10:24:42

Woah, bit of a leap OP. a strip of perfectly legal pain killers are not an indication of anything. Long term use of codeine phosphate is a well documented treatment for inflammatory bowel conditions eg. Colitis, Crohn's disease.
She would also have required stronger painkillers after her gallbladder problems. If you are worried then please speak to her, and stay away from Dr Google wink

Turniphead1 Wed 20-Feb-13 18:28:11

See my post. Think most recent posters being näive. I'd be almost certain she is abusing them.

wolfandi Wed 20-Feb-13 19:37:16

I'm addicted to 30/500 codeine. I take 8 + per day and have done for about 4 years - they're prescribed due to my rheumatoid arthritis. I can pull myself back off them (two or three miserable days), but then need them again to control pain and am immediately back where I started.

I have no answer. I need them for pain relief. But that means I become addicted.If I have to wait too long between doses I feel sick and get a blinding headache. It's not fun. But it is how it is.

StickEmUp Wed 20-Feb-13 19:39:45

Im in AA and lots of people abuse codeine. Id be suspicious too I'm afraid.
She needs to come clean to her doctor.

StickEmUp Wed 20-Feb-13 19:40:27

Abuse codeine before they get sober! Fuck me i said that so wrong.

FanFuckingTastic Wed 20-Feb-13 19:52:40

I would say I am addicted to my pain relief, but I also have a painful condition, so that in itself is not a big issue I wouldn't think. Although drinking as an alcoholic is a bit of an issue, sometimes life with chronic pain can be very difficult. Could you support her to get some help at the doctors? She may need a visit to the pain clinic to help her find other ways of dealing with the pain.

CognitiveOverload Wed 20-Feb-13 20:13:07

Codeine is a very serious addiction and being an alcoholic makes it harder. She should not stop the medication without professional help.

Springdiva Wed 20-Feb-13 20:19:21

I don' spose she would consider some counselling to find what causes the need for the alcohol.

redemptionsong Wed 20-Feb-13 20:53:07

Thank you to everyone who has replied, thank you for taking the time to comment.
Turnip I feel for you - I know exactly what you mean when you say dry but no sober sad

I completely understand being addicted to pain relief when you have a painful condition, it's a no brainier!! You have been prescribed a med to help you go about life, and it cannot be easy but what choices are there for you sad

I have calmed down, she has been on cocodamol for yrs over the counter, but when I saw the new dose n googled it I kinda went into overdrive! 8 mg to 30mg seemed an a huge jump to me! I know she not taking it for pain relief tho- she says for bowels!! Her appearance is actually changing too, her body seems to have gone barrel shaped n her face looks so bloated, she missed so much work that they are pissed off her, she says she is "technically disabled" but puts this all down too her toilet problems and expects her work to accommodate her, but the may suspect her issues too.

She has come off the booze a few times and gone back to it . . Always with I can do what everyone else does attitude but it always ends in disaster!

Sorry folks I prob sound a bit mixed up, I am about it all tbh! When I found out for sure she was drinking again I vowed I was not going to get caught up in it all again, it takes over your family and (finally) having new baby and good settled happy family life I don't want it marred by getting caught up in her problems again!

I sound like horrible sister but I do love her dearly, i can't even bring the subject up because I'm scared she'll alienate me n I'm really the only person she has close.

Oh she has had counselling but again it was about all our "family issues" not her issues.

Again thank you all for sharing, it means a lot to me right now x x x x x

redemptionsong Wed 20-Feb-13 20:53:42

Sorry didn't realise how epic that post was !

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