I was wondering if anyone could inform me of some possible warning signs that a former addict is using again?
My mother-in -law, a healthcare worker, was once addicted to painkillers (vicodin, demerol, etc.) and was in rehab twice (and on probation once, for stealing drugs from her workplace). She is also an active member of AA (although for drugs--I have been told AA and NA can be interchangeable). She has been clean for over a decade.
She has undergone a profound life loss with the recent death of her husband of 15 years, after a lengthy illness. I am married to one of her sons. My brother-in-law informed me that he is afraid that she is abusing painkillers again. She asked him to pick up a prescription for her, and when he went to pick it up, he discovered that the Px was for Vicodin, and the pharmacist refused to fill it because Vcodin Pxs can only be filled every 30 days, she she had just refilled it 10 days ago. When he told his mother this, she said that it was a mistake and the Px was from another doctor (meaning, she was getting Vicodon Pxs from multiple doctors.) When he confronted her again about the Px, she gave another explaination that the Px was really for a muscle relaxant, not Vicodin, even though the Pharmacist explicity said the Px was for Vicodin.
My husband and brothers-in-law have also noticed behavior changes, that she has become more withdrawn (from calling each of her sons at least twice a day to not calling at all), and is constantly sick, including a sudden stomach ailment, back, ankle, leg, etc, etc. She has also had two car accidents in the past 9 months and has problems sleeping. She is almost always awake in the middle of the night.
I am really concerned about her, as she has undergone such a large loss, and I do not want her to have another huge hurdle to undergo rehab again. Also, my husband, especially, has lingering scars from her past drug use, and I do not want to see him, my brothers-in-law, and the rest of her family hurt again. Already one of my brothers-in-law is questioning letting my mother-in-law around his children (her beloved grandchildren.)
I guess my question is, even though she denies it, are these warning signs of a relapse? And what are the signs, and does anyone have any advice on what to do about it?