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Tramadol dependency

Posted by Mavis on 13 October 2014.

I'm at the start of a process I never in my life thought I would experience, having finally met and married my special person they have turned into someone I don't really recognise any more, due to a Tramadol dependency. He has suffered from bi-polar all his adult life, he is now 41, I thought I could cope with that but I have recently discovered that when times are bad for him he seeks solace in a bottle or a packet. Currently he is taking 20 tramadol a day, I believe he is also snorting it possibly, goodness knows what else and where thus is headed. I feel out of control myself, I have tried softness, tough love and partial ultimatums but the problem with ultimatums is that you have to fulfill them, so I am stopping short of life changing ones. He has no love or interest for life, hobbies, people or health. I feel so, so sad, his brother thinks I am not being supportive enough. Anyone else experienced something similar?


14 Oct 2014

Hi Maivs.  
I could have written your post myself.  My husband is a couple of years older than yours and has a depressive illness too, which attempts to "manage" at times by self medicating with, currently, copious amounts of red wine and "legal" highs.  I can relate totally to the misery you express in the cycle of trying to support a loved one to give up a habit that is effectually robbing you both of every ounce of normality  and happiness and has moved into the territory of crisis management.  My situation is slightly different to yours I think in that we have children(you don't mention any) which makes the situation even more complex.  I see you say your husband brother is aware of the situation but he doesn't  sound very supportive of YOU and its YOU who are dealing  with someone in the throws of chemical dependency on a daily basis not him.  I think you need someone in your corner.  I don't know about you but I find it impossible hard to know who to confide in.  Outwardly my husband and I seem pretty perfect because we have both become adept at coping mechanisms - well I have anyway.  It he need to protect the kids and not to put his job at risk mean that I have to just suck it up and cope somehow when he fans apart.  Added to that how do you tell people that your husband is a drug addict without them recoiling and distancing themselves? And you need support to make all the big changes involved with enabling your husband to seek help, and if you don't have that support then it's very hard to have the inner strength to cope.  Because you don't have that thing every marriage or partnership should have at its core-loving support from your other half.  You're the caretaker, and that's the killer.  Jeez.  This has ended up being all about me but what I meant to say we yiu really aren't alone.  I don't know you obviously but I identify with you from the bottom of my heart and am rooting for you to get through this somehow.  I can't tell you how but maybe we can work through some strategies together or at least listen without judgement to each other? I feel for you.  I hope today is one of the better days ((((()))))))

14 Oct 2014

Hi Mavis, and Blueshoes,

There is someone you can talk to who will provide the support you need to help you with fighting your corner.  The Icarus Trust has a collection of amazing Family Friends who provide and support and signposting service (free of charge) to help families who are in need.  You can contact them on or go to their website at  

I hope this is something to help both of you.

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