I am addicted to painkillers and need help.

As many of you know, four years ago I began to take care of my wonderful mother full-time. I was full-time at Credo House and full-time with mom. I could not leave her alone at any time.

Let me back up . . .

My mother suffered a severe aneurysm rupture in 2006. This left her unable to walk, think well, or talk. Therefore, she relied on others for everything in life.

I began to take care of her after she was in a car wreck that rendered her only good leg bad. She could no long aid anyone in standing, shifting, or transferring. This was a big deal.

Right or wrong, I decided to take full-time care of mom. I would write from home and take mom with me just about everywhere I go.

Now, I have degenerative disc disease along with a fractured lower back where the vertebra is laying on a nerve. My mother had no weight bearing capabilities. I had to dead lift her to change her, move her, and adjust her. She weighed about 250 pounds. This caused me to get on pain pills.
My First Experience with Pain Pills

I used to pride myself in how I could take pain and illness without needing any medication, even aspirin. However, this was too much to bear. I took the pain pill and experienced something very unexpected. Not only did it make me forget about the pain, it put me in a really good mood. I was nicer, more outgoing, and took the initiative areas that I might shy away from otherwise. It was great. Pain was gone and personality and energy were in fifth gear. I thought of them as pain killers and anti-depressants.

However, over the years, I found out that there was a significantly large piper to pay. First, the longer I took these drugs, the more tolerant I became to their effects. The milligrams had to be increased over and over. Last year I was taking 3 eighty mg pills of oxycontin (that is a lot, by the way).

The Effects

Because of my addiction to these painkillers, I began to slowly neglect, betray, and discount everyone in my life, including my family. My main goal was how to get another pill. If I could not get one, I would go into major withdrawal which positioned me at the gates of hell. Pain, puke, cramps, and significant depression would follow. Once I finally got a refill, all it could do was get me back to 0. I would think of U2’s song “Running to Stand Still.” That is exactly the way it felt.

Though I slowed way down this last year, my obsession remained. When I did not have any pills from the doctor, I would get them from people I knew.

I manipulated, deflected, neglected, blamed, and rationalized. This all happened, one small step at a time. I slowly became someone I am now totally ashamed of.

For this reason, I am checking myself into a rehab facility in Orange County, CA. It is a month minimum stay.

It is going to be hard, but I, Lord willing, will beat this addiction and return to being a who I am supposed to be.

I apologize to all those out there I have hurt. I apologize to my family, my church, those I teach at Credo, and those I teach in other places. Please forgive me. I repent to the Lord and tell him this has it arms around me. I call upon him to have mercy on me.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    27 replies to "My Addiction to Pain Killers"

    • Kipp

      Thank you for this, brother. Wow, thank you.

    • Paul

      Hey Michael,

      I’m praying for you brother. I’ve dealt with neck pain after rupturing 2 discs & bulging a 3rd one in my neck 6 years ago working in the medical field… and I’m only 33. They want to remove at least 2 discs and fuse 3 of my cervical vertebrae together.

      Hydrocodone has been the only thing that really takes away pain when my neck gets aggravated. I can’t help but have compassion for fellow believers who deal with chronic pain, and can absolutely identify with a brother or sister for whom pain killers is the only thing that brings physical relief. I feel that, in the same way we should never accuse a Christian of spiritual weakness when they go through depression (as depression is a real physical condition…not just emotional), I can’t help but think that we should not necessarily accuse a Christian of spiritual weakness nor immorality when they become addicted to pain medications. I’m a believer, and the fact is, spiritual devotion and obedience to Christ doesn’t necessarily take away physical pain. Sure we can pray that God would remove it, but unless He does supernaturally, surgery, medications, or physical therapy (if successful) is the only remedy.

      So just know that you’re not alone, and that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Evan

      100% support you and Credo House. Addiction is a nasty animal, but can be overcome with a lot of work.

      If we can help, let me know.

    • Kurt Mincin

      Michael, if God wants to not only continue credo house but strengthen it, he will. You focus on getting well. God reminds me often that it/life is not about me. I think you know all this. But, like me, I’m sure you appreciate being reminded;)

    • Susan

      Michael, I don’t think any less of you for this. Chronic pain is a vicious animal to live with day in and day out. I commend your admission, and I think you’re doing the right thing. You will be out here near us, where the weather is still fabulous, at least for now. I’m sure God can use you wherever you find yourself, including rehab. Many there need Jesus, and you may be just the person they will listen to…someone who understands what it is to walk in their shoes.

      I hope you will have back surgery once you’ve recovered. Many I know have been pain free after finally having it. My prayers will be going up from Long Beach.
      God’s strength is perfected in our weakness. Sometimes being in a place of desperation and weakness isn’t all bad.

    • Paul Copan

      Michael, thanks for telling us the straight story. So sorry to hear this news. May God’s abundant grace be with you, your family, Carrie, Credo House, et al., and may your remarkable ministry be strengthened and become even more fruitful through all of this.

    • Bob Harris

      I love that you told your story. I was in a very silica place 22 years ago. But God restored me and my ministry, even through greater trials in these last eight years. He always grows stronger in our weakness. Please move beyond the pain of confession into the joy of the Lord, now. Your body did what these broken vessels do. And it becomes our job to give them to Him and grow into His calling. I just shared Devon Gales talking on the radio (facebook). Devon was injured in the Georgia-Southern U. Football game this year. Check out this recklessly faithful kid. We all pray for one another. We are all you as we hear your truth.

    • Tameeka Brundidge

      You are a warrior to step out in faith and share your story to help others. The enemy tries to shame us and make us feel worthless. You will beat this because Christ has already won. We all have our process that we go through, so we can fulfill the purpose that the Lord has for us. It always bitter going through, but I have faith that you have already overcome. Stay steadfast in prayer even if you only can moan. He knows your heart. If you want to be made whole, you are made whole. In Jesus name you’re healed by your faith. You, your family, and the ministry are in my prayers. You are God’s beloved. He doesn’t love you any less. He wants you to press deeper into him. Thank you for your courage and strength to share.

    • Bob Harris

      I was not really in a “silica” place. A SIMILAR place.

    • Phil Eyster

      You probably went through a lot of agony over posting this. So, even though I don’t post a lot,I do read your posts, and so wanted to chime in. Keep moving forward. Life and ministry are not over. You still have significant work to do. Keep moving forward. You may find that donations are down, but try not to connect this to your struggles. It would be easy to do, but resist it. God is bigger than your addictions. His will is not thwarted by this.

      It is always tough trying not to equate your value of ministry based on the donations that come in. I’ve got a missions ministry and have to work at thinking correctly on this all the time.

      This is going to be rough particularly at this time of the year with your family and all. Walk it through a day at a time. Six months down the road will seem like a lifetime away.

      God Bless

    • Rebecca

      God bless you, Michael.

    • julie cole

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. My best friend shared the link with me. My mom has suffered with chronic pain and addiction for years now and it has been a nightmare for all of us who love her too. She still will not get treatment and insists on trying to come off them on her own, she has tried this many times before with no success. She is a believer, and we all pray for her daily. I will be praying for you too, you are courageous to humble yourself before God and others. He will be glorified in your decision to get help.

    • Mary Garner

      Michael, my heart goes out to you. Like everyone else who has responded, I so appreciate your honesty–how greatly that is needed among Christians. I can guess that a huge percent of your readers have had related experiences (whether they talk about it or not). I was in the grips of alcoholism for almost 20 years. And one of the things I admire most about AA is the utter honesty of those in AA. Joe and I are praying for you and rooting for you!

    • Richard

      Thank you for sharing your journey. I will be praying as walk through this next chapter to recovery. Praying for you brother.

    • Sharon Dodd

      Thank you for sharing your story. I will be praying for you. I love you and your family.

    • Stephanie

      I am proud of Michael going to treatment and I hope he stays as long as they ask him to. Michael has not been the same after his sister took her life and I think this will come out in therapy. I am one of the people he called for pills.. Thankfully, i dont take pills.. 20 years later ha and I had none to give him but I was able to get a first hand liok at what he was dealing with. It was very very sad to see this. Then i saw the post about him asking for money to help his mother, which is why I am comminting.. I dont want people to think that was a scam.. I genually believe he needed help to take care of her and had no where else to turn so please do not feel like your money went to the wrong place if you gave to support her.. They are using that money to care for her while Michael is sick.. As it would have been used to take care of her if he was not.
      I can not wait for Michael to return with a better understanding of himself and be able to tell everyone more about his version of god thru the eyes of sobrity and the strength of his friendships. He has always loved U2 and they preach about being.. One i guess not a huge fan loll
      My point is please dont hate pn where ypur money went when you gave to his mom.. No one spent that money in the wrong way

    • rusty

      Michael, Thank you. I forgive you. Focus on your health please. I stand with Credo House, I will work for coffee. 😉 You & your mom are in my prayers.

    • Modern Christian

      We don’t know you brother, but we stand by you in your time of need. The devils holds tight to those with addictions but you are setting yourself free! It will be tough but the hardest part is over. Admitting your addiction is done. You’re free and can now focus on yourself.

      Good luck. God Bless you and your family

    • Zane


      Thanks for your transparency. Praying for you and your family during this time. Credo House is a God send in my life. I look forward to you getting back doing what you do. In the mean time, God’s grace and healing as you recover and conquer.

    • Kara

      Everyone has already commented everything that I would say regarding our commitment to you and your ministry. When we are weak, he is strong. I hope that this experience gives you a deeper understanding of his love, forgiveness, grace,
      mercy, understanding, faithfulness, commitment, holiness, goodness, gentleness, kindness, greatness, supremacy, power, and patience. You are not alone. He was there and will continue to be there every step of the way. The thing that makes you different from others is your honesty, transparency, and humility. That is what draws people to you. These are the very things God wants from us. You are broken so that He can be glorified in restoring you, and I am sure there are 10,000 more reasons He has for this tragedy. God didn’t have to send his son because we are perfect. It was because we are such a mess. That is what makes the gospel so beautiful and perfect. Don’t think that for one second you will be punished in any way shape or form for any of this. That is Satan trying to make you feel guilty and minimize what was done on the cross. Jesus bore your punishment. I know you know all this, but it’s easy to forget. Sometimes we need reminders. Forget what you have done and focus on what He did and will continue to do! Wake up with
      gratitude and praise and worship the One who
      keeps fervently pursuing you! Don’t think about yourself and how you are going to make things right. You are incapable of doing anything worthwhile. When you are in pain, pray. When you are worried about your family, pray. When you feel guilty, pray. Pray without ceasing!! Things have been consistently hard for you. I praise God for your struggles. They show everyone just how big God is! The enemy pursues you unceasingly because he knows you are important to God. Don’t give him the headspace. Meditate on the fact that Satan was defeated. This is your only shot at this life. It is short. We have to keep our eyes focused on the Father or we become slaves to this world and the pain of this life. I pray that your gaze be fixed on Him.

    • Chris Painter


      We have talked often but as many times as we have met and as many people as you see you may not remember me. In any case, I highly value you as a person and I am spiritually fed through your work. I have fought addiction with other vices and from one addict to another I know what it feels like. It helps to know that Jesus died for the sick and those who need healing.

      I want you to get better because your ministry, in my opinion, will be strengthened not weakened by this. To me, this makes you more human, more Christian.

      Love you brother, can’t wait for another one of your classes.

    • Allison Chetta

      Thanks so much for your transparency and willingness to be open and humble! Will be praying for you through this time and do let me know if there’s anything i can do to help out with the ministry during this phase.


    • mitch


      Your honesty and forthrightness is a good thing. No one should look down on you because you have admitted to something. Most people are dealing with things and are just too afraid to tell someone. I told someone and they told me “dude don’t put that on me right now”…it was someone that I thought I could trust and tell that I was struggling. Mine was alcohol. The center that you are at where you have to take A.A. confessing that you’re an alcoholic even though you’re not is not a big deal. A.A. (as you are well aware of now) has N.A. Narcotics Anonymous. For your minds sake think of Alcohol as a drug just as much as the pills you were taking. The principles in both meetings are virtually the same.

      I am a minister and I know a lot of ministers who have confided in me their addictions. Yours sounds like it started physically and then became both mentally and physically which is a quagmire for the soul. That you are going through treatment means a lot. I will be praying for you. I can’t wait to hear the good news of you completing the program. Mine was 9 months (and then they hired me to manage the 90+ men for 2 years). God bless!


    • Tom


      I will continue to pray for you and family

    • eric


      I will pray for you and your family

    • Todd C.

      Thanks Michael, appreciate the realness. We love you brother and do not look at you differently. I am in addiction recovery myself so I know how it goes.

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