My Wife Is Addicted to Adderall: Stories of Hope for Spouses of Adderall Addicts
There is always hope for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction—especially when you are ready to reach out for help for your partner. You can see how others have overcome the hurdles between active addiction and treatment. When your wife is addicted to Adderall, there is an accessible path to healing, and you can find it together.
Even when hope loses all of its meaning in your life, the story isn’t over. When you feel like there’s nothing more you can do to bring about positive change, that’s okay. There are still people who absolutely can help. They know that if your wife is addicted to Adderall, it’s not about fault or shame; it’s about helping her to rediscover the strength and power she has lost.
Treatment can always be the next step. Even when your doubts and insecurities are overwhelming, someone can help you accept and take action one small step at a time. Adderall addiction treatment makes it possible to address not only the substance abuse itself, but also the pain and challenges that underlie the addiction. In other words, treatment isn’t just about getting back your life as it used to be; it’s about learning and practicing to be even stronger—as individuals and as partners. See how others have overcome the hurdles between active addiction and recovery and how hope is always alive.
It took Trish six years from the time she started taking Adderall during med school until she finally got into treatment for addiction to stimulants. I remember that the change in her personality and her usual routines happened pretty quickly, but I had no idea what was going on until much later. She had already been spending a lot of time on her own. I guess, when she started taking Adderall to help with her focus and her ability to study for long periods of time, it worked. She started spending even more time on her own. And she just always put up that wall—the schoolwork came first.
I gave her her space. And pretty soon, I lost interest in talking her into letting her guard down and spending less time on other things and more time with me because she had changed. The fact that she was irritable and short with me during the small periods of time we did spend together didn’t leave me wanting more of that. Anyway, I spend probably three years in the middle of it all knowing that something was wrong but not having the courage to dig into it—or feeling like I didn’t have a way in. It really was like my wife was gone.
Things got worse before they could get better. Trish was barely sleeping and she started having panic attacks. She had to drop out of her med program when she was just about a year away from finishing. All of a sudden, I was spending more time with her than I had in years because she had become almost incapable of taking care of herself. Adderall had replaced me as her life partner. But it took a lot more than it gave in the end.
I opened up to Trish about my fears for how things might get even worse. I told her I knew that the medicine path was a lot to lose, and I didn’t want her to lose any more. And I had to be honest; I told her how painful the years had been for me watching her change and pull away and lost control. It was hard for her to listen. But she didn’t have a lot of energy left to resist. I told her how important it would be for both of us if she would consider an inpatient rehab to help her get clean. Before I could say, “Think about it,” she replied, “Okay.”
I’m not going to say that everything got easier from there. But, at least, we started heading in a different direction. And we were doing it together. Even when she was in rehab, I was able to be a part of therapy and other sessions each week. It sounds a bit corny, but during the first few weeks of her treatment, I still remember how much I valued the eye contact with her. I realized then that I hadn’t had that for a really long time. She hadn’t really been there behind her eyes for a really long time.
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I didn’t want to move out of the house, and I really didn’t want to say, “We’re separated,” out loud. But even if I had stayed, it wasn’t like we were together anyway. All we did was fight, and it was hard to remember the time before that was my life.
Kelly always liked drinking, and she spent most of her time with friends who liked it just as much. And we used to do that together. But there came a point when I just couldn’t hang out with them on a Wednesday or Sunday night anymore and get up to go to work the next morning. I don’t think Kelly ever considered the possibility of backing off.
So, I guess, one day when I wasn’t around, one of our friends shared with Kelly some uppers. To this day, she doesn’t even remember exactly what the drug was, but she loved the way it shook up her party night. And I don’t even know exactly how things went from there, but she found herself an Adderall supplier and, almost right away, was taking those every day. She started eating less and drinking more. She just didn’t have any attention for much else.
I told her after a few months of that that I needed her to get help. I bugged her about it for about a week before she agreed to go to a meeting. I purposely found her a meeting at a treatment center, hoping that it would have a bigger impact. I think she went to a total of four meetings, but, of course, the feigned attempts at change faded.
It took another six months or so before I packed up and moved in with my brother on the other side of the city. It took a couple of days for it to occur to Kelly that something was really wrong. I wish that had been all it took to encourage some sense. I had sent her some texts about where I was at and how we couldn’t keep living this way with her drinking and drugs in between us. When I didn’t answer a couple of her calls during the workday, she doubled up on her Adderall kept drinking until she passed out. It was one of our other friends who found her and got her to the hospital.
It could have been a lot worse. That was what I kept repeating to myself that day when I finally got to the hospital and heard from the doctors that she was stable. Maybe it was just a matter of time for her to overdose. But that had never been in my mind. I was frustrated and sick of the way we were living. But I took for granted that it was just her lifestyle—not her life on the line.
My brother was really helpful at that point because he had a clearer perspective, and he had known someone who had to go to rehab for alcoholism before. He looked up the treatment specialties there and reassured me that they could handle helping someone with multiple addictions. Kelly agreed to start at the treatment center right out of the hospital. It took a while for her to embrace her own reasons for sticking to it, but she did. I participated in all of the family stuff while she was in treatment for 90 days.
We’re two months out of rehab now. I’m still living with my brother. But Kelly and I have been making more plans together that aren’t just therapy sessions and meetings. I don’t know exactly how it’s all going to go. But I’m okay with it being up in the air because I’m relieved that we’ve moved forward from that horrible past.
When Your Wife Is Addicted to Adderall, Where Can Hope Lead?
Recovery is not an easy road. But, as you can imagine, it’s well worth the dedication and effort. If you’re still unsure about how to get from here to there, know that there are resources always available for you. In fact, one of the best people to reach out to right now is an intervention specialist. They can help you to gain some helpful perspective through the pain and confusion in your life. They, too, know that it is not about finding fault or punishing someone with addiction; it is about getting them the support they’ve needed to help them cope with life’s stress for a long time.
It’s important to know that the detox and withdrawal process for Adderall addiction will likely be very difficult and uncomfortable for your wife. A medically supervised detox is the best way to mitigate the risks of dangerous withdrawal symptoms, to help her be as comfortable as possible, to prevent relapse, and to proactively integrate lasting therapeutic options. Residential addiction treatment centers incorporate medical detox in a welcoming community environment. Behavioral therapy will be another critical aspect of your wife’s empowering care. In this way, she will learn to relate differently to her stress, her own coping abilities, and her motivating personal hopes and goals. This is the most important thing for both of you right now. It can lay a solid and hopeful foundation for everything else to come.
Alta Mira offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Bay Area programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward lasting recovery.