Finding out the true extent of my husband’s problem with prescription painkillers, when he broke down in tears and confessed everything, was one of the worst days of my life. It felt like a massive kick to the stomach and, crazily, I remember thinking “why can’t he have just had an affair, that would be easier to deal with!”

Addiction, certainly to drugs, was something that happened to other people, to other families. Not to my handsome, successful husband. But looking at him, as he sobbed uncontrollably in front of me, I realised just how devastatingly real the problem was.

It had all started when he was put on strong pain medication following a ski-ing accident 18 months ago. But as the full details of his descent into addiction – and the levels of secrecy with which he’d covered his tracks – were revealed, I struggled to take it all in. Yet the more I learned about prescription drug addiction, about the fact it kills 46 people a day in the US alone, the more frighteningly real it all became.

Thankfully, from that moment when he broke down and admitted everything we were able to move fast and within a week he was at the Phoenix Individual Retreat, undergoing a medical detox. From there, he went on to spend ten weeks undergoing treatment – treatment which not only saved his life but also saved our marriage and our family. At first, I had some concerns about him being thousands of miles away in a foreign country, although the team at Phoenix were amazing, keeping me regularly updated on his progress and reassuring me every step of the way. He finally came home last week and neither of us have stopped smiling since.
Prescription Drugs: a partner's story - Phoenix Individual Retreat in Spain
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