By: Ava
October 14, 2021

My Wife Is Addicted to Pain Pills, How Do I Help Her?

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When addiction hits your home, it hits different.

Of course, substance use disorders are always a scary thing to contemplate no matter who they’re affecting but let’s face it when it’s your wife, it hits like a ton of bricks.

A person you’ve shared so much intimacy, that you feel like you know as well as yourself, the mother of your children if you have them.

To see her trapped in a cycle of addiction is a blow that’s hard to bear and brings the realities of addiction into stark relief. Something so abstract to your life and relationship is all of a sudden consuming it.

Pain pills are among the most commonly prescribed medications out there today. Unfortunately, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2017, “an estimated 2 million Americans misused prescription pain relievers for the first time within the past year, which averages to approximately 5,480 initiates per day.”

Add to that the ongoing opioid epidemic – opioids generally being described for moderate to severe pain – and that 10.1 million people misused opioids in 2019 alone according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and you’ve got a problem that can touch just about everyone.

Is there something you can do for your wife though?

Signs of a Pain Pill Addiction

It’s important to understand what an addiction to pain pills looks like because if you don’t know there’s a substance use disorder happening, it’s tough to react appropriately. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Continuing to take pills when not experiencing pain
  • Taking pills differently than prescribed, i.e., taking them more often or in larger doses
  • Developing a tolerance that requires larger doses to get the same effect as before
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using
  • Unable to quit or exert control despite trying to 
  • Spend an inordinate amount of time using, under the influence or recovering
  • Doctor shopping for additional prescriptions
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Hiding effects of drug use
  • Pills are causing issues and neglect related to work, school or family responsibilities
  • Having cravings
  • Psychological/physical issues related to pain pills
  • Issues with relationships
  • Mood swings
  • Change in sleeping patterns


If you notice your wife exhibiting more and more of these signs, it’s time to seriously consider taking some proactive action. At the end of the day, it can save her life and save your relationship.

My Wife Is Addicted to Pain Pills, How Do I Help Her?

“My wife is addicted to pain pills” is likely a sentence you never thought you’d think, let alone a situation you’d have to help her through, but here you are.

It’s not the end of the world.

In fact, not being in denial about it is critical to the process of recovery because denial leads to enabling which leads to potentially far worse outcomes for her in the long run.

As far as the specifics of what you can do, the important thing is to remain supportive while getting educated on addiction and learning about the options for treatment. Work towards helping her see that she has a problem, perhaps she’ll even benefit from an intervention.

You’ll ultimately want to guide her towards a rehab program that suits her needs, something you can continually research. For more severe addictions to pain pills, maybe a partial day program would work best. If her addiction is less intense, a more standard outpatient program could be the way to go. 

It’s vital that you don’t forget about taking care of yourself through all of this as well. At Multi Concept Recovery, we offer a family support group that gives you the space you need.

To learn more about how we can help your family, reach out to us today.