Do I need to tell his GP and how?

by Elena

My husband, 72 year old, is taking anxiety and high blood pressure Rx medications prescribed by his general doctor. He also takes Vicodin which is not prescribed by his GP or any other pain doctors. He also drinks a whole bottle of red wine every evening.

My question is: do I need to contact his GP about his Vicodin and alcohol abuse? And how do I do this?

I am really scared of my husband's sudden mood swings and anger issues. I don't know what to do...

Hi, thank you for writing in with your question

Figuring out how to deal with a loved one's problems with drugs/alcohol is one of the most difficult things we can encounter. It is very dangerous, as you seem to know, to mix those prescriptions and to add alcohol to the mix as well.

The first thing I would suggest is to talk to your husband. What does he say about the whole situation? Does he see a problem with what is going on, or does he think everything is just fine? Depending on what he says, yes your next step could be to talk to his GP.

That's a decision you will have to make. Will your husband be mad if you tell his GP? Probably - if he doesn't want to stop taking Vicodin and drinking, I assume he would be a bit angry. But is it worth it for him to be angry at you if you can potentially find him help or get him to stop taking Vicodin/drinking?

If you wanted to speak to his GP, you could probably just call and set up an appointment and tell him you need to speak to him. You can tell him you are concerned, or unhappy, or whatever it is that you feel, regarding the situation. You can decide to either do this alone, or to bring your husband with you and see how that goes.

Another option would be to call some sort of treatment center for your husband - they may have some advice as well. You could call an inpatient, or an outpatient center and try to get some more insight on how to handle the situation.

There's never a right answer - everyone is so different that it's really difficult to know what to do for each person and what will be most helpful. I think you should start first by doing what YOU need to do, and what you think is best for your husband and for yourself. Maybe try an al-anon meeting? People there may have some input for you as well.

I wish I could give you a more direct answer..try to do what you think is right and what is best for you.

Good luck to you and your husband!


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