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My mother-in-law has been living with us for almost 3 years, since her husband has passed. She has been on Oxycotin and Roxicodone (not sure if I spelled it right) well she takes 4 80mg of Oxycotin, and 3 30mg of Roxicodone. She has had a near death experience because of the medication about 7 months ago, when I had to rush her to the emergency room because she was very unalert. When she finally got to the hospital and they stablized her, the doctor informed us that she had strep throat, bronchitis, and pheunomia. And with her being a sufferer of COPD and being on oxygen it was not a good sign. I believe that it is the fault of the medication because she did not feel any pain before I rushed her to the hospital, but she did mention however that she felt a sore throat coming on earlier that day. Since then we have been monitering her pills because my husband and myself both think she is and has been addicted to theese pain pills. She insists that she is not addicted to the pills. We have been holding the pills for her and giving her a weeks worth at a time because she will not allow us to give them to her by the day. Every week she seems to be fine at the begining of the week helps clean a little, when we fill her pill bottle which is on Thursday, but by Monday or Tuesday she seems to hideout in her room and we dont see her again until Wednesday night when she hands us her pill bottle to refill. She is collecting workmans comp to pay for her medications but they stopped paying for them for about 10 months and she had to pay for them herself, and she did, she spent over $17,000.00 in 10 months and went completely broke and then turned arround and borrowed money from my parents to pay for the pills. I sometimes feel like my life is going down the tubes because I dont believe that she will ever seek help for her addiction.
I do not know what to do because I have 5 children living at home and they can see that she is slowly killing herself. Before she got on this medication she was not thin, and looked healthy even though she had pain she looked alot better from how she looks today. Now she weighs only 96 lbs, is on oxygen, and she camps out in her room all day watching TV till all hours of the night and then when we do see her she says she is so tired because she did'nt get enough sleep. She has problems with her stomache at least once a week for about a day but it always seems it is right before she gets more pills and then when she has more pills she is fine again. She only showers once a week. Is this because she is still abusing them right in front of our noses?
I just need someone to answer this post and tell me if this sounds like an addiction or not, because I do not know the signs of addiction. I am ashamed of my feelings tward her because I feel like I am starting to dispise her and I do not want to feel these feelings about her expecially if she can not help it or does not realize that she is addicted. I would like to get her help but I do not know where to begin and I do not want the to hate me because I say she is addicted and she insists that she is not.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for the info.



Yes she is addited.
Yes she is using most, if not all her meds at the beginning of the week.

The bottom line is this. And, you're not going to like the answer. This is coming from a Paramedic of nearly 15 years. And, A Chronic pain sufferer.

You need to put her in a long tem care facilty... Yes that means Nursing home.

There really are some nice one's out there, if you look around. She may need to go on Medicare, of Medicaid, if she doesn't have insurance.

Here are a few of my suggestions regarding a long term care facilty.
Visit them first. Take a look around. NOw, it probably is not going to smell like a bed of roses, but it shouldn't stink of urine and Pine Sol.
Look at the residents. Do they look relatively heathly, and happy. You'll always find some that look like c**p! But, the residents that are out and about, and there should be many, should look healthy, generally speaking of course. If you see an ambulance around, ask them... Trust me, anyone who works in EMS can tell you at least one place to avoid, and one place they think is OK, or even great.

When you decide on one, and she's in the home, visit her OFTEN, and at all hours. I have found the the patients that get the best treatment have family that visits all the time. And, visit her a 3am sometime, they have to let you see her, even if she's sleeping. You can ask just to look in the room, make sure she's ok. See what the staff is doing at 3am... are they all in the break room talking? Or, do they look busy? They should look at least a bit busy... There is always something to do.

Good luck to you. You really need her out of the house, you don't need your kids seeing her. Or worse, stealing drugs from her, if they're old enough.

If you refuse to put her out... at least go to a daily pill dose. No more week at a time. If she refuses, don't get them filled for her.... it sounds like she can't drive or take care of herself, so you need to step up and do it yourself. Daily rations of meds. And, go by what the bottle says, not by what she says the dose is. if it says three times a day, give her only 3 pills. That's it.... it's that easy... so to speak. I know it will be hard... and she'll probably say mean things to you. But, it's better in the long run...

Take care....


my husband has the same characteristics with him he knows hes addicted but cannot get any help well at least the kind he needs because we have no insurance and our state just turned him down for medicare.
but yes he is showing the same symptoms when the script is new and there are pills they're like dynamos but when the pills are gone they go into their hermit stage they dont have the motivation to do anything
the appetite is goneand so is the need to keep up personal hygiene they get diarrhea the pain to them is excruciating because the pills untaught their body how to deal with pain on its own and they look like death warmed over they are so tired but they cannot sleep and their body is constantly moving due to the creepy crawly feeling underneath their skin. they dont get a good night sleep until the pills are back in their system and when pills are finally available to them then overmedicate themselves so they can again feel indestructible


I too have been through the same thing with my mother in law. On oxy for years, sent herself to the poorhouse, her father supported her for years and then when he passed four years ago she interited $250,000 -- that was gone in two years, and nothing to show. We forcibly took over her finances and her medical supervision including dosing of medication (not oxy) which she was now being prescribed as she does have real chronic pain issues. We were using the little week at a time pill holders with the morning, noon and night spots and so were calling her three times per day (she is 30miles away) to dispense the meds. But, she was unable to control her obsession and compulsion for taking pills, and it became any pills. She was taking everything and anything and after several warnings about the fact that if she did not stop getting into her week's supply and using it up by Wednesday she was telling us loud and clear that she was unable to care for herself. She too, was not bathing, maybe once every two weeks, and then it was just a sink wash up. This was a woman who had prior to this escalation cared deeply about her appearance. She had become manipulative, dishonest, conveniently forgetful, you name it. Finally when she downed 85 Tylenol in a 10 hour period we had no choice but to place her in assisted living. She did not qualify for a nursing home - she is now on medicaid (Welfare) because she blew through everything before we could get a handle on things. My advise to you, you have children, you have a family, you have a life. DO NOT TURN OVER YOUR LIFE OR THE LIVES OF YOUR FAMILY TO AN ADDICT. The addict does not care what goes on in your life, does not care what pain or anguish you may suffer. You MUST put yourselves first. You and your family have to matter to you, because as hard as it is to hear, you do not matter to the addict except that you control her drugs. Please, get her out of your home. Yes, visit her but get her out of your home. If you do not I promise you that your family will suffer, your relationship with your spouse will suffer. Compassion is a wonderful thing. Understand that moving her to a facility that will care for her IS showing compassion, not just to her but to your children, to your spouse and to yourself. Our experience has been that in the beginning she hated me, the daughter in law. I can deal with that because that is the ADDICT, not the core person. Now, sometimes she thinks I'm ok, sometimes not. I can deal with that. But the peace that we have now - not waking up to phone calls at 1am from a woman begging us to please please please can't you bring me something!!! Peace for not wondering each day, all day when we were away from her, is she dead? is she injured? what is she taking now? It's not fair to keep her in your home. The most loving thing you can do is get her in a facility. My mother in law now begs her caregivers for meds - meds that she cannot have. They are trained to do it and are not emotionally connected. We visit her regularly and when she begins her complaints about them withholding meds we change the subject. You do need to establish a good communication relationship with the care givers, and do visit and interview places. They are not all the same especially when you are dealing with medicaid (Welfare). We were lucky, but I know you can be too. It just takes determination to do the right things - for ALL of you. Good luck. You'd be surprised to know how many of us are out there. Remember, our mothers in law are of the generation when doctors gave speed for weight loss.


My son was prescribed Oxycontin for chronic GI pain. He became addicted and went through almost exactly what your mother-in-law did. The craving for more and more is all-consuming. Oxycontine is mind-alteringly addictive. Our son was top of his class, high-achiever, athletic -- all round voted most likely to succeed. He became ill in his final year of university and was prescribed this horrifying drug. He almost died, and the ups and downs of his addiction almost did his dad and me in. The only thing that saved him was the Methodone program. I never thought we would find ourselves at such a place, but I am glad we endured the clientele, met with the Methodone doctor and that our son carried out the program. He was well-monitored from start to finish and the Methodeone program saved his life; he would never have been able to free himself of Oxycontine without it.


All of these stories are similar to what my mother in law has done since the day I met her. She's addicted to Roxycodone, and Xanax. In fact, I'm reading, and responding to this blog because I got into a terrible argument with her in front of my house today.

I have a 3 year old son with my husband Chris. We are a younger couple, late 20's, and we've been through many hardships. The toughest being Chris' battle last year with a rare brain cancer that is very aggressive. Luckily, it was detected early, removed by surgery, and treated with mostly radiation for 2 months. Needless to say, he's not supposed to be under any stress, if possible. That's all she ever does is stress us out with all of the drama revolving around her addiction. She was living with us in the past. She doesn't anymore, but she did move on the same street as us because my husband is an enabler for her.

She lost her license, so she's completely dependent on us for everything, including the hustle and bustle of getting her fix. I'm sorry if I sound cruel, but she does abuse them (sometimes up to 30+ daily), and she snorts them, which is even worse.

The argument was because she keeps having her pill buddies wheeling and dealing in front of my house. I know I'm younger, but I've asked her several times to stop doing this, but she has absolutely no respect for how we feel. Those narcotics will steal your soul, and turn you into the most selfish being on Earth. She won't meet her friends at her place because there are servalance cameras in the drive way, and in the parking lot that is monitored. Also, her boyfriend would be really pissed if he knew. He's high strung as it is.

She was over at our house, and I told her that we needed to leave for a little bit, and to come back later. She said that she was walking to her friend's house (about 4 houses away. I know the guy). As we were driving down the street, I saw her meeting up with a different friend who lives about 20 min. away. They met up on a side street. I knew what was going on, and I know it's messed up, but I was happy that she was counducting her business elsewhere, and kept my mouth shut.

We came back home, but we were not gone for very long. Then, as we parked the car, and opened our doors, a white truck comes pulling up behind us with 2 strangers to me in it.

I asked him if there was something he needed help with, and he said he was waiting for her. Here she comes walking up, and I told them that they needed to take this somewhere else. she gets pissy, and the guy pulls onto the road, and stops.

Almost instantly, here comes another one. A female in a red thunderbird, and my mother in law got into the passenger side. So this car, and this truck are stopped side by side in the middle of the street, talking about these pills. This is a busy street, 30 MPH limit, but people speed like crazy.

I lost it! I started going off on her, and speaking almost in foreign tounges out of fury. I told her friends if I saw them back again, then I'm calling the cops. Normally, I wouldn't do that, but I've already seen that female before, and told her not to come around anymore. Not to mention the countless times I've begged, and pleaded her not to bring these people over by my house.

Another reason why this is such an issue is because she lived with us for almost 2 out of the 3 years we've been together. We had the Department of Children and Families come out to our house, along with the Police to search around the house, and make her take a drug test because someone reported something about it.

Our house was clean, stocked with food, and no drugs other than her legal ones. So they investigated, and the case was closed.

I keep telling her that she is putting us at risk, and especially my 3 yr old son. It would be some b/s if she got pinched at my house, and I lost custody over my son because of it. That's my biggest fear.

We don't let her live with us anymore, even though she begs constantly. I'm tired of her taking advantage of our kindness (especially hubby's). I don't want to be her enabler. The time I mentioned about her living with us, it wasn't just her. It was also her boyfriend at the time (currently incarcerated for drug trafficing), and my husband's little sister. We supported all of them, even though monster in law makes almost twice the money I do because of disability, food stamps, child support, etc. For those years combined, her boyfriend gave me one payment of $300.00 That was it for almost 2 years of rent, utilities, etc. What kills me is she acts like she's entitled to everything we've got, and she gets very aggressive and manipulative when she doesn't get her way. She's relentless, and doesn't quit untill someone caves in.

I'll continue to pray for her, as the Bible says to do. I know I couln't help her in any other way. This is a very mild, watered down scenario compared to a lot of other events. I could write a novel. Thanks for reading, I'm going to sleep.