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Talk about your experiences with others.

When it comes to a loved one's drug or alcohol use families can sometimes feel lost or struggle to express themselves. Our forum gives you the opportunity to share and discuss your feelings in a safe environment.

Please do not disclose any personal or contact information such as telephone numbers on this forum. Adfam will remove any such content. Please note that anything that raises a safe-guarding or confidentiality concern may be removed and acted upon.  

Please note this forum is specifically for families affected by someone else's substance use, and posts should relate to this narrative. Posts that don't relate may be removed by the moderator. This includes posts relating to someone's own substance use. 

Adfam takes no responsibility for the quality or content of the responses.

Share Your Story

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My Codeine problem by

I am writing this as a way to document my progress but also maybe help others. How did I get in this mess? Most people who are addicted to painkillers usually have a 'trigger event' Mine was 3 broken ribs, for which I took co-codamol. I noticed at that time a euphoria and also removal of all the worries. And believe me there are a few: As a parent of 2 small children (2 and 5) with a very demanding job and wife that is retraining and therefore earns very little we have money problems because of a massive mortgage and nearly a grand is paid a month in childcare. I am on my own with the kids most of my waking hours that are not at work, because my wife is a trainee teacher as spends every waking hour lesson planning or marking. She makes £800 a month after tax which is crazy. She works 3.5 days a week and spends the other days socialising. I am trying to be ok with that. Hence Codeine was a form of escape. It took 3 years to get from occasional abuse through to the very serious situation of of taking nearly 600mg codeine a day as codeine phosphate tablets. I found an easy way to get them from online pharmacies. They cost a lot of money and i must have spent 5 grand at least. I also drink a bottle of wine a night and take diazepam too. This situation was obviously unsustainable. But, amazingly no-one knows as far as I am aware. You will be thinking - how could I let this get so bad, but those of you know that codeine resistance builds in plateaus - one day 90mg will do nothing at all and you need to up your dose to get the same feeling. What now I am now absolutely case iron determined to sort this out. Obviously I feel ashamed for spending money like this and being so irresponsible, but that works as a motivator for me now. My taper is going to have a lot of discomfort associated with it - but will drop quite quick then slowly reduce after that. This is mainly because of the expense of the tablets, and because I want to get to a safe dose as quickly as I can. Where am I now? Totady I am down from 600mg to 330mg. This is almost a safe amount to take a day (allegedly 240mg) so that's something. I will now reduce to 90mg a day and then drop 15mg a day. There has been a lot of symptoms - all of the ones you read about. But the worst has been the depression - its been difficult to get out of bed even. Especially as you gather your thoughts and know you face a day of discomfort. I take 5-htp and this helps a lot. Exercise really helps, and vitamin B seems to help too. The other golden rule is to keep continually busy until the end of the day. Having 2 small children and a wife that works all evenings has both filled this time but also made loneliness a bit of an enemy. If there are any positives I have a sex life again and also am enjoying going to the toilet (sorry if this is oversharing). My stomach bloating is massively reduced and I can see my abdominal muscles again. For alcohol - I strictly limit my drinking, but I do allow myself 2 glasses of wine, because its dangerous to stop straight away. After a week, I will cut this out completely - that will save £3 a day (I was buying a bottle a day). The only way I could reduce my drinking was to wait until later in the evening before I started. For me, this is 9pm (we go to bed at 11). Hopefully I can keep posting here as a progress the bumps along the way. I have noticed no two days are the same - some are not too bad - today is OK. Yesterday was terrible. There's only one thing missing for me now - that's someone to talk to. I'm too ashamed to talk to friends so the anonymous forum is worth a try....?

I could do with some advice by

Hi all, I’m new here. To cut a long story short my boyfriend has struggled with a cocaine addiction for a long time. After a couple of years of hell, trying to convince him he needs help, he finally got the help he needed and was accepted into a rehab through the nhs 3 weeks ago. I was so very proud of him, for admitting his problems and accepting the help. The rehab seems to be really helping him and I have seen a huge change in him already, personality wise and health wise, however the rehab does let him come and go and he is allowed to come home at weekends, where we live is a big trigger for him, it’s a small town and he knows everyone. The rehab does urine drug tests twice a week and he has been sending me the results every time, not because I’ve asked him too but because he is proud of himself. Now he came home the last two Saturdays and after the first one, I felt his personality changed a bit when I went to visit him on the Sunday, he was a big grumpy like he was on a comedown. I just shrugged it off and thought maybe he was having a bad day, then Tuesday and Friday came, urine test days and he didn’t send me the results. Then Saturday just gone he came home for the day again, and the same happened when I went to visit yesterday, he was grumpy and sniffing all day he looked rough like he was again on a comedown. I’m so worried that if he is relapsing then the rehab may ask him to leave as it’s a clean house, they routinely drug test because all residents have to be alcohol and drug free, they have said they understand that addicts do relapse and it’s all down to how they act about it when and if it happens. Now I’m just wondering I don’t know what to do, do you think I should ring his key worker there to discuss my concerns or shall I confront and ask my boyfriend, however I think he will just get defensive and not see me as trying to help him, he probably won’t tell me the truth either, or shall I just wait and see what happens and let the staff there find out for themselves? Sorry for the long message. Lianne


2 posts

Drugs, alcohol and mental health

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Can’t take his drug addiction anymore by

Been with my partner now for over 12 months and he hid his addiction from me at first but now I now he addicted to heroin, told me over the months he not going to take the deadly stuff anymore because he loves me and wants our relationship to work coz he got nothing with me ...... which he hasn’t . He is 47 and got a horrible flat with not furniture and nothing in it x But he told me today his urges are to overwhelming that he got to use again!! I work full time and I pay for everything for him even the roof over his head and he doesn’t give me a penny from his universe credit. I’ve give him chance after chance for him to give his addiction up and I’d even support him though it but still not good enough, so even thou I love him to bits I can not be with him anymore x I feel so sad and alone as I’ve hid his addiction from family and friends x ????

Partners coke addiction by

My partners coke addiction is destroying me! None of this will probably make sense but im hoping getting it off my chest might help. Hes done coke which was socially for about 10 years but the last 5 has been a back and forward thing but i suppose i was in denial myself for a long time. Because i didnt have proof hed manage to lie to me where money had gone ect. It has been bad for a long time weve split so many times and hes promised the world and weve tried again and then im back here again crying with that pain in my chest. I know i need to leave because its not guna get better any time soon and i know the longer i stay with him or keep going back and fourth im going to end up in such a dark place myself. I know hes not ready to stop and they have to be ready they have to want it. It breaks my heart hes my first love we have been together 9 years since i was 16. Its so fustrating because the stuff is everywhere around. theres so many dealers in just the village we live in never mind a the 5 mile radius around us. It angers me so bad. I just feel like its all so unfair! My dad is a heroin addict has been my whole life hes walked in and out of my life. It was something i struggled so bad with growing up all i ever wanted was my dad growing up. Hes put us through it. Finally a couple of years ago i started to feel like i was over that but now im back at that stage its like a double wammy i feel so hurt and let down all i ever wanted was for him to be there for me and now im doing again with my partner. Like how is that fair i have cried my whole life because of soneones addictions and the effects it has. Im fed up! Its like me and my partner will be getting on for a little while then well have an amazing day or 2 then all of a sudden its ripped away from me again! Thats exactly how it would be growing up id see my dad for abit hed promise me alsorts hed pick me up ect then boom hed no longer be around. Its just like history is repeating itself. My partner got home on thursday, oh it was amazing he was in such a lovely mood tell me how much he loved me , like hed just realised it again kind of thing basically his words, friday again such a lovely day. Im really feeling positive by this point things are lookibg good, saturday day agsin a good day. I could tell hed clearly not had any Saturday i fall asleep on the couch then go to bed. He ends up at a friend till past 4 sniffed up. He gets up for a little bit then sleeps till 5.30 gets up think he might of had some more thst night i took myself to bed and he went to see his mate. Sleeps alot of sunday then boom all hell breaks loose because hes on a come down. How is any of this fair. I tell him if your not ready fair enough tell me just walk away leave me because i dont have the strengh no more. Theres a complete lack of communication vecause he wont talk to me. He just wont talk! He lies his come downs are so bad he spends majority of his wages and he earns good money too. I can basically catch him red handed but he still wont admit it. Like he think im stupid when i know full well or have evidence. I know ive gone on already but if i actually got it all out id be here all night. I dont know what i actually want to get from posting this maybe its to get alittle bit of my chest so i can go to sleep. Im just so angry at the world and hurt! Some days i just wish i could pack up and run away. Im at the point i hate the village i grew up in a loved. Mojority of the people you pass in the street is rather on it or selling it.


7 posts

Wife secret drinking by

I don’t know where to turn, no one to talk to, would appreciate some views, don’t know what to do. Together 20 years, early 40’s, 2 beautiful kids, very well paid job, wife at home, foreign holidays, no debt, not even a mortgage. Things ought to be pretty good. A couple of years ago, pretty much to the day, I discovered my wife was secretly drinking. She’d always liked a drink, but this was startlingly heavy, I calculated about 150 units p/w. I raised this with her, said she had to get some help and supported her through some brief counselling. Since then she has continued to drink pretty much every night, just a glass of wine or a beer, saying she has it under control, likes a drink to unwind. However, I have found on more than one occasion that she has been drinking during the day too, and she certainly always goes for it on social occasions. I have confronted her 3 or 4 times more over the last couple of years, and each time she says it isn’t a problem, or I’m to blame, or she denies it. Last summer I raised it and she said I was controlling, that she wanted to get a job, to have her own money etc and that I was the reason she needed to drink. I tried to adapt, I even started giving her £500 every month in cash to spend on herself, whatever she wanted, no questions asked. That stopped in February when I found she was secretly drinking again (clearly the cash wasn’t helping). Last night I came home from work to find her acting suspiciously, usual hallmarks of her drinking, she was cooking the dinner but could barely string a sentence together, wouldn’t look me in the eye. Then I found an empty water bottle in a kitchen cupboard which still had a few drops of wine in the bottom. She’d been out shopping that day (driving) and my guess is that she’d taken it with her. I’ve caught her doing this twice before (with vodka previously). I discovered last night’s bottle after dinner when she was about to drive one of my children to an event. I took over, and when I got back I handed her the empty bottle and asked for an explanation. She tried to act surprised but had nothing to say. We nearly split a couple of months ago when, again, I discovered she was secretly drinking although she denied it. Indeed we agreed to separate, but we had a big holiday all booked and didn’t want to let the kids down. We arrived back this weekend and we had a great time. Everything seemed ok but looking back she did drink every day. Usually a couple of large pinots during the meal, plus maybe a beer or 2 beforehand and maybe a glass or 2 of wine afterwards. But she was on holiday, so it’s not unusual to have a few drinks is it and I didn’t want to spoil things or be criticised for trying to control her. Despite all this, she seems to function ok, rarely has a hangover, you can’t easily tell she’s even had a drink a lot of the time. It’s not as if she is aggressive or ‘drunk’ as such, which does make me question whether I am overplaying this. And I’m pretty confident that she has completely stopped for a few weeks at a time, so maybe she does have control over it. She certainly won’t admit there is a problem, won’t talk to me about it, won’t seek help. Probably the worst it’s got for me is a year or so ago when I found she was hiding vodka in one of my kids bedroom (after I’d found her other hiding places) or when I stopped her driving one of my kids to a party with vodka in her handbag (she swore she was taking it with her to get rid of it). I’m seriously thinking about leaving, but I don’t want to leave my children. She’s a great mum, they love her dearly, and they’re very settled at home, so I wouldn’t want to disturb that situation. But it means I would be the one moving out, living on my own. I’d also not want other people to know the reasons so as to protect her and the kids, which probably means people would not understand and ostracise me. Either way, the future looks pretty bleak. Occasionally I think about ending my life but not seriously, I love my kids too much. I think I’ve been pretty calm and patient with her. I’ve generally spoken in soft terms, tried to reflect an understanding of what she might be going through, but I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to feel angry. I was so annoyed last night. After I showed her the bottle and she didn’t have an explanation I didn’t say anything more, just avoided her and slept downstairs. It is now nearly 8pm the next day, I’m still in the office and I don’t want to go home any more. Am I missing something here? Is there something I should be doing? I know there are always 2 sides to a story. I must be at fault somehow, at least partly, but I don’t know what to do for the best.


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New to this by

Hi I don't know where else to turn , my family and friends have no idea how I feel they havnt walked in mine or my 2 son's shoes, and unfortunately our story didn't end well as 2 weeks ago their father , my ex died. I strongly suspect it was an overdose on liquid morphine won't know for sure till the toxology report comes back , I am heart broken as I tried to get him help and my boys seen him at his worst when he was high and my eldest who is 24 has saved his life once by calling an ambulance for him , it's hard cos we did get a long and he was a big part of my life for many yrs he was just so troubled towards the end , my eldest us showing no emotion , he is feeling angry I suspect he doesn't really want to talk about it and has thrown himself into work and is acting like nothing has happened, my youngest who is 16 is sad but it's not really hit him yet we have been going through this alone and would just like to communicate with others who may understand the effects of addiction ????

My husband died by

I'm struggling with feelings following the death of my husband last month. He was in his mid-40s, and a highly intelligent, very successful businessman. He was also a cocaine addict, but no one knew unless he told them. He had periods of abstinence followed by what he called a relapse, which was a drug binge. During this time he would disappear away from home and be uncontactable, spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds. In the last year of his life, this all increased in frequency. The last six months were particularly bad. After his death, I found out that since January he'd been using at least once a week on average, and was ordering quantities of anywhere between 2g and 5g. He would just this in one night over the course of a few hours. On the night he died, he had disappeared on a binge, but I didn't know this until the following day. He had ordered 2g which he had taken over two hours, and then a couple of hours later he was walking it off in town when he literally dropped dead in the street. Since he died I've found out a lot about his use, about where he was getting money etc and I am finding it hard to process. Our relationship had deteriorated because he was always snappy and in a bad mood, and it felt like he had completely disconnected from me. He barely wanted to spend any time with me at all, and always prioritised anything else to the point we spent very little time together at all. I wanted it to be different, but he didn't. Having looked through his phone in the last month, it seems he had an awful lot of contact with prostitutes, who he paid to get the drugs for him. He was making arrangements with them once or twice a week to get the drugs, would take it while they were there and then leave. On his phone was a video of one of these sessions, and it was really upsetting. I looked after the money (at his request) so it was hard for him to get hold of it, but I've now discovered he spent one of his children's savings as unknown to me he had access to it. I have also found that he was searching for pawn shops, and many of his possessions have gone missing, including gifts I bought him (even his wedding present from me). He has left us with nothing - because of his addiction he could not get life insurance, and we are about to lose our home. I feel sad, betrayed and angry, even though I know the addiction had taken over in the end and it wasn't really *him*. The him before the addiction was the kindest, most generous, gentle person you could ever meet. He worked tirelessly for his family and always put others first. I am stunned he could have been so unfaithful so many times, and devastated that he died in the street far from home. I'm not sure how to reconcile all these conflicting feelings.

by KLC

3 posts

I just lost my brother by

Hi all. My brother died earlier this year from alcoholism. He was only in his mid forties and we are all heartbroken. We tried to help him but he locked us out of the house and denied he had a problem. For the last year of his life I think he was drinking every day and after his death we found bottles of vodka in his home which he was obviously drinking neat. I'm having a lot of issues coming to terms with his death and i dont think I ever will. I am trying to understand this addiction that is more powerful than love and family, that drove my successful brother to self destruct. I also cannot understand his denial. How could he pretend that everything was ok when it was clearly not? I would love to hear your stories and if you can help me understand this disease I would be very grateful. Thank you