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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5821
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My mother has been in chronic pain for the last 10 years due

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Hello, my mother has been in chronic pain for the last 10 years due to knee replacement surgery as well as a back injury she sustained while in her mid 20s. She's now 60. She had been see a pain management Doctor and he had prescribed her 600+ mgs of oxycontin every month or so. My dad isn't real sure of the frequency, but in February when my mom had her spinal cord fused, which ended all the pain, and her need to see the pain management doctor, the nurses were shocked at how much she was taking. My mom recently left my father, out of the blue, after 40 years of marriage and he realized all their cash is gone and she had maxed out credit cards and had secret cards and took his oxycontin when she left. (He had a hip replacement on June 7th but didn't need the medication anymore so he had about 30 pills). My question is, I believe my mom is addicted to the oxycontin and has resorted to stealing pills and buying pills illegally since she is no longer prescribed them by her doctors. What can be done to get her help? She is unwilling to talk to anyone and is being unreasonable and has moved in with a strange man no one ever heard of. She didn't mention her leaving to any of her family (siblings or mother nor her children for that matter). My dad just wants to get her help, but I keep telling him there's nothing he can do but let her hit rock bottom. She also has a gun and has locked it up at work and my dad is worried about that too.
Any advice you can give me to help my dad help my mom would be appreciated.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It does sound like your mother is addicted to Oxycotin and she does need help. Your insight into her problem is very good. Addicts will almost never recover unless they themselves want to recover. They are in denial about how addicted they are or even that they are addicted at all. Talking to them, trying to plead with them or even attempting to force them into treatment does nothing. Unfortunately, that leaves the person's loved ones to suffer without many options to help.

However, there may be something you can try with your mother. There is a drug and alcohol technique called an intervention that may help break through the denial your mother is in about her addiction. An intervention involves getting your mother's family and friends together (those aware of her addiction that want to help) and with the help of a therapist or intervention specialist, you all confront your mother about her addiction. This can help her break through the denial and see that she has a problem. If she can do that, then she most likely can recover. Here is a link to find an intervention specialist:

However, you also can work with a qualified drug and alcohol therapist for the intervention. To find one, contact your local rehab facility or community mental health center. They will help you find someone.

Here are some other resources that may help you and your father:

Addict In The Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery. by Beverly Conyers

7 Tools to Beat Addiction by Stanton Peele

Love First: A Family's Guide to Intervention by Jeff Jay, Debra Jay and George


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

I hope this has helped you,


Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

I haven't heard from you. Did you have more questions or want clarification?


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