@Selfcare31 The way the whole situation ended up panning out all sounds like positive progress. You were able to communicate with openness, curiosity, and compassion. He was honest immediately and took a drug test to confirm. And you’ve made plans to be more transparent going forward. These fears of slips will continue to happen as long as we’re in relationships where addiction has been present. It never truly goes away, but our response is what matters.
I’m actually surprised that he was prescribed pain meds in the first place if he’s taking suboxone. My husband was in a similar situation - he had dental surgery and his doctor would not prescribe pain meds to him. Due to the pain, but mostly due to frustration I’m guessing, he ended up slipping and using heroin. Would he have slipped if they gave him pain meds? Not sure. But keeping them from him certainly didn’t help. I recently read an article about the use of algorithms by the US healthcare system to detect opioid abuse, and how they are flawed. It’s a long read but a good one, if you’re interested. Here’s a quote that stood out to me:
"…throughout the overdose crisis, policymakers have focused relentlessly on reducing medical opioid use. And by that metric, they’ve been overwhelmingly successful: Prescribing has been more than halved. And yet 2020 saw the largest number of US overdose deaths—93,000—on record, a stunning 29 percent increase from the year before.
Moreover, even among people with known addiction, there is little evidence that avoiding appropriate medical opioid use will, by itself, protect them. ‘I think undertreated pain in someone with a history of addiction is every bit, if not more, of a risk factor for relapse,’ says Wakeman. She calls for better monitoring and support, not obligatory opioid denial."
Sorry for going on a bit of a tangent, but it just got me thinking about the use of pain meds and if they’re ever safe for someone who has suffered from opioid addiction. I don’t have the answer and, like most things relating to addiction and recovery, there likely isn’t a clear one.