Question: “…3 to 4 Oxys a day…Is that a lot…

“I just found out that  my spouse has been snorting Oxycotin for approximately 1 year. He says he has been doing 3 to 4 80 mg pills a day for 5 months. What kind of help does he need?  Is that a lot?”

That is a lot of Oxy. Your spouse is addicted, and needs professional help. It is extremely difficult to detox and remain abstinent from any opiate drug on one’s own.

The best course of treatment would be clinical detox, followed by inpatient treatment and then aftercare — along with a 12-step program such as NA for support. This is the course that is most likely to work. If you do not have insurance to cover detox and treatment, check with your local mental health society for resources in your area. As a last resort, short-term outpatient detox with Suboxone and support from Narcotics Anonymous is an option.

You must also understand that the problem will only get worse with time. Promises to “quit after the holidays, after (whatever)” mean nothing. The only meaningful action your spouse can take is to get help. Period. Everything else is blowing smoke to protect his addiction.

For yourself: Nar-Anon* or Alanon, to learn more about the disease of addiction and how to keep from being further enveloped in the madness. You must take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.


2 thoughts on “Question: “…3 to 4 Oxys a day…Is that a lot…

  1. cindy

    Bill, Thank you for all the information. It made me feel better, No I dont go to meetings. I have a very supportive family. I can call them a hundred times aday. I didnt even know about paws until recentley. I thought I was having a break down, very scarey but since I found out what it is Im dealing with it alot better. I read alot on the internet try to get informed. meetings are out of the question. I know that sounds bad but its just the reality right now. Thats why when people like you take the time to help it just means alot to me. thanks for all the gteat advice I will start to journal. God bless you for reaching out. best of luck to you too.


  2. cindy

    I was addicted to pain pills for 7yrs. 6 aday I had paws for 4months then was fine .relapsed for one month. My question is my paws is back. I have been clean for a month. could it last another 4 months?

    Dude! Welcome back! So many don’t make it.

    They’re not kidding when they say you end up right back where you left off in a very short time. That’s because you re-open the old neural pathways, so it doesn’t take very long for things to get back to (ab)normal in terms of your brain and CNS’s handling of drugs.

    The good news is, you’re back. The bad news is, yes, you’ll probably experience PAWS for quite some time. See above. However, a) You know what it is now, so it won’t be sneaking up on you as badly; and b) You already have a support group in place, so you won’t have to build one from scratch. Don’t worry about going back to meetings and being embarrassed. All those folks have been exactly where you are. Practically no one makes it without at least one relapse. (You were going to meetings, weren’t you?)

    Remember that early recovery is all about keeping stress down. One of the worst things you can do is beat yourself up and dwell on the time you”wasted.” Don’t forget it, but don’t look at it as a loss, either. The whole recovery journey is about learning, and you had a useful lesson, if you’ll allow yourself to look at it that way.

    Take some time and look back on what happened BEFORE you picked up. Relapse is a process, not an event, and it occurs well before the drugs. I relapsed twice early on, and never touched a drink or a drug. Might as well have, though. I was the same old drunk and druggie, feeling the same, acting the same. Write down what you did, how you were feeling in the months, weeks and days prior to picking up, and put it someplace where you can find it. Refer to it occasionally. I suggest keeping a journal. Writing every day is good self-discipline, and it gives you a valuable record of your head’s location during some turbulent times. Write down the bad and the good. No one has to see it but you. It will be useful during your 4th Step, and it’s a good way to collect your thoughts as part of your nightly 10th Step.

    (I carry a sturdy hip-pocket notebook — Moleskine reporter style with graph paper, since you asked — and make notes all day, but that’s partly because I suffer from old-timer’s disease and need to write stuff down before I forget about it.)

    My best advice, apart from going to meetings, getting a sponsor, etc. is to read the PAWS article, make notes or print it out and highlight stuff, try to do the next right thing, and get on with your life.

    And remember: only you can prevent junkies.

    Best wishes,


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