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How long can I use hydrocodone pill?

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Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 632 Questions
Hello. I'm not sure if this may be more of a legal question than a medical one, but I'll ask anyway. I am under the care of a neurologist/pain specialist who prescribes hydrocodone for me. When I was married to my ex-husband, who has a bad back, little by little I started letting have most, and eventually all, of my hydrocodone pills. (The main medical condition for which I took the pain meds was in remission.) Now he and I are divorced, but because I've felt pressured to do so, I have been letting him continue to use my pain pills. I have been wanting to cut him off for a long time, and now I feel ready to do it. I want to talk to my doctor about this and admit what I've been doing, but I'm afraid that I'd get into legal trouble, and also that my doctor would drop me as a patient. I don't know what to do. By the way, to clarify, I do still need pain pills, but not nearly as many as my doctor has been prescribing. Once my ex stops taking my pills, I don't need to have all that many on hand because my pain condition doesn't flare up regularly the way it used to (at least for now). What should I do? I'm so afraid that I've done something illegal. My heart was in the right place, but still I know that letting my husband gradually use all my pills wasn't right.
Posted Tue, 12 Feb 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Sundar Gnanavel 18 minutes later
Thanks for your query. I understand your dilemma at the moment and the fear of possible repurcussions. Neverthless i would prefer to give you XXXXXXX advice on this issue. I would suggest you to inform your physician that there was diversion of hydrocodone pills for your husband's needs and that you no more require these many pills. I am sure your physician would be empathetic since this is quite a common event in many homes. The other alternate is request your physician to gradually reduce the number of pills and inform your ex-husband it was your physician's decision to reduce the pills and hence you would no more be able to spare him pills. Hope you find my suggestions useful.
Dr Sundar
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How long can I use hydrocodone pill? 1 hour later
I'm sorry--I don't know if I am still eligible to ask a follow-up question without being charged an additional fee?

I appreciate your suggestions, but I'm still unclear about what my doctor would or could do if I tell him that for a long time, my husband has been taking all of my hydrocodone pills. Is it likely that a doctor would report what I've been doing? It has been a huge hassle having to turn over the pills to my now-ex every month. He is now addicted to them, and uses them up before each month is over, and I have had to order refills early. This causes me a lot of stress and anxiety, which frankly directly affects my mood swings since I'm bipolar. At this point, I no longer have much sympathy for my ex--I think he needs to do whatever it takes for him to get off the pills, even though he truly does seem to have a lot of pain.

Anyway, is it realistic for me to fear legal repercussions? That's the last thing I need, as I am already under a great deal of stress from several sources. I love my doctor, and he is my neurologist (a very good one) as well as my pain specialist. I would really hate to lose him as my doctor. Also, if he dropped me as a patient, I am worried that I'd be "blacklisted" from getting another pain specialist.
Answered by Dr. Sundar Gnanavel 7 minutes later
I do not think there is a reason to worry. You also have the additional legal cover of bipolar disorder. Addiction is a disease which requires treatment and you cannot be held responsible for your ex-husband's addiction related drug diversion. You can suggest him to XXXXXXX an addiction specialist and you can report to your physician the drug diversion was due to coercion and force by your ex-husband. It should not be a reason for black-listing you. It is better to be tactful but honest in this issue with your physician.
Dr Sundar
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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