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Adfam forum guidelines

We know that if you are affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use you might feel alone, or as if nobody understands what you are going through. This forum gives you the opportunity to share your feelings regarding your loved one’s substance use, to share experiences and support other people going through similar situations. This is a safe, nonjudgmental environment. There is no right or wrong way to deal with somebody else’s substance use. Everyone’s experience is different, and everyone’s experience is valid.

Never share personal contact information

It is very important that no personal information is disclosed on this forum. The forum is a safe place, and sharing personal information, especially contact details, could potentially make the forum a target for people seeking to take advantage of its members. Even if you feel safe around someone, and think you could benefit from one to one conversations, please do not post contact details or ask somebody for theirs. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share personal stories - the anonymity of the group should allow you to be as open as you are comfortable with without the need to initiate private communication.

Any posts containing contact information or other identifying information will be removed, and repeat posts may lead to your account being blocked.

Posts should relate to the experience of those affected by someone else’s substance use

Please remember that this forum is here to support people affected by somebody else’s substance use. Posts should related to experiences of someone else’s substance use, rather than as a source of help for individuals with a substance use issue. This does not mean that people with lived experience of substance use issues cannot participate in our forum, but please remember that the focus is offering support for people affected by someone else’s substance use.

Posts solely relating to personal experience of addiction will be removed. If you are looking for support regarding your own substance use, please call any of the following helplines:


  • Drinkline: 0300 123 1110
  • Alcoholics Anonymous: 0800 9177 650


  • Frank: 0300 1236 600
  • Narcotics Anonymous: 0300 999 1212

Be respectful, supportive and non-judgmental

As everyone using this forum is aware, substance use and family relationships are very sensitive issues. It is important that forum users carefully consider their tone when posting. Always talk from your own experience, and never suggest that somebody else’s attitude or experience is wrong. Please do offer supportive advice, but do not insist that there is one way of doing something.

Posts will be removed if they contain

  • Personal attacks
  • Discriminatory comments
  • Misinformation
  • Links to illegal websites
  • Spam or links to websites promoting/selling anything

Please also be mindful of the original topic of each thread. Try to make sure that conversations are carried out on the relevant thread. This will help people to navigate the forum and find appropriate support, and it will also prevent certain issues from drowning out others.

Thank you very much for joining our forum. These guidelines are for the benefit of our community, and so any posts that do not adhere to all of these guidelines will be removed, and accounts may be blocked.

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Cocaine husband I need some advice :-( by

Hi everyone, I have just rang FRANK and they gave me this website as they said it would help me as others will be going through the same thing. I found out last Jan that my husband was a cocaine addict through a lot of money going missing out of the joint account, I never realised as I had no reason to suspect anything. He left home and continued for 2 months doing a lot of drugs, in this time I became a wreck and was checking everything, phone records, emails, following him I became a spy to my shame. In March he came home as he was trying to sort himself out and I didn't want to turn my back on him. He lost his job so I took a loan out so we would be ok for money. It was hard but I thought he was doing ok. He told me the area we lived in was a trigger so we sold our house (one we had spent years doing up) and rented until we decided where we wanted to live, so he now has a lot of money in his bank account which is worrying me as we spent so many years doing the house up and made a good profit. Fast forward 3 weeks ago, we got back off holiday and he was acting strange and started an argument so said so you want me to leave, all planned I can see now and he left. He took £1000 out that night and continued to take more out each night. On the 4th day he came around and told me it was all my fault I treated him like dirt, I spoke to him badly and we were never happy. He is staying at his sisters house and says he is getting himself better as what's more important than our marriage is his health. (I agree with that I suppose) What I am struggling to cope with is all the support I have given him and he has just tossed me aside like a piece of rubbish (I know I am being selfish and making it about me but its how I feel at the moment) I have no one to talk to as friends and family where there 1st time around but they wont be this time around. I cant eat, sleep, its affecting my job, my mind is on overdrive imagining all different scenarios, I am just not in a very nice place at the moment. It has now turned to him txting saying he isn't coming back home (I didn't ask him to) and he needs to be on his own. I am so confused has anyone been through similar and how did you cope. Thanks in advance.

by Mjay

16 posts

Let down again by

After 3 years on coke and £60k lighter , partner spoke to me about it at start of September. Been here several times before ... but this time seemed different. Searched out help and support groups and everything was great for first week. He went to 5 CA meetings in first week. Things slipped second week and now although he says he’s going .... I don’t believe a word. In fact, I just feel I cannot trust a thing he tells me. Coke seems to have stopped - no sniffing nose, bloody nose or big cash withdrawals or psychotic behaviour. But, this has been replaced by an equally problematic alcohol problem. It’s like one addiction has been substituted for another. He will often drink out on front porch leaving cans of lager everywhere. I’m totally mortified as feel as though my life is an episode of Shameless. I just cannot get my head round all of this. How can someone who was totally anti drugs and very rarely took a drink turn into this person. The effects of the alcohol seems the same as the drugs. It’s like a one person hurricane and literally causes havoc to the lives of everyone he comes into contact with. I keep wanting things to get better and always have it in the back of my mind that ‘maybe this time’ things will be different. Although ... it never ever is different. It’s like the years of abuse has changed something in his brain and I don’t know if I will ever get that person back again. I’m just sitting on my own after a day from hell with him. He’s sleeping in bed. It’s like when the hypnotist clicks his fingers and they are back in the room. Thing is, I don’t know how many more performances I can sit through. Fed up being blamed by him, subjected to nasty text messages and told I’m the one who should apologise. Thanks for listening as just needed to get this off my chest x

by Holton

10 posts

Can't cope and feel all alone. by

Hi everyone, I made my account today, after feeling so exhausted dealing with my husband's alcohol abuse that I don't really know what else to do. I feel all alone with this because I moved Country to live with my husband and although I have made friends and get along really well with his family, I don't have any of my own family or my really close, childhood friends, so I feel like this is a battle I have to face for myself. What's extremely hard for me is my father is and always has been an alcoholic, and I promised myself I would not go down that path, but I know it is common to fall into these situations, it still really hurts. My husband is Jeckyl and Hyde - the man I love and married is the sweetest, most cooperative person in the world, the only man I want to have my life, children, and future with. I can't possibly consider any other life than the one with this man. But when he drinks, he becomes truly evil. He is incredibly aggressive (though never laid a hand on me and I know he won't, this is the only thing I have faith in) like he used to always smash furniture, now he more just "bangs" things or threatens to smash things, but mostly he just says whatever he can to bring me down to his level and make me as miserable as he is. He will insult me, whistle at me like a dog, and just say whatever below the belt things he can. The problem is I am not meek, I will scream and shout back, even though I know it doesn't help, I can't help myself, I am so angry and frustrated. I have tried every trick in the book - to ignore him, move to another room, whatever. It doesn't work, he will keep shouting at my face until he breaks me, slam on the door of the room I'm in etc. He drinks during the day then comes home late so I cannot escape the house, I have to get up for work after all. So there is no escape from him. The only moment I feel relief is when he falls asleep, but this can take all night. Today feels more difficult than other times because we are flying back to the UK tomorrow for my Uncle's funeral, he passed very suddenly and everyone loved him, this has been hard on the family and also on me being so far away from him and them all. My husband has a pattern of always having one of his drinking episodes the night before I have something important, but this one makes me furious. I need him so badly right now, this is why I have a partner is to support me, I am supporting him through thick and thin and getting nothing in return, and he still cannot be here for me. He goes to weekly therapy sessions and takes Antabuse but he still drinks, it is too weak or his tolerance is too high, many times he simply lies about taking it, and he will drink at least 3 times a week, and is just awful whenever he does. But then the other days he is so apologetic and makes me feel like I could never leave him. I feel weak to the love I have for him when he is being good, even though I feel devastated and like I can't go on during the days he drinks. I just don't know what to do. I feel like I have lost my entire self in this process, I was doing so much self care when I met him and now four years in everything is just about him and his abuse. I feel that I have tried everything, we have done therapy (though couples therapy is too expensive to maintain regularly), he goes to his meetings, I go to therapy by myself. I try to indulge in my hobbies but nothing helps, my entire life is around him. I call him several times a day worrying about him coming home late knowing he's been drinking, I spend all the daytime worrying about whether it will be a good or bad night. All my thoughts go into it. I have become a shriveled mess, I have such little joy in so few things and I am obsessing over his every move. We have had 1001 conversations about it, when he is good he says and does all the right things which gives me hope and keeps me holding on, but he always goes back. I am also 24 and he is 32, yet I feel like his mother, I take care of him, the house, accounts, and everything. Tonight I have packed both of our suitcases for tomorrow, cleaned the house, done laundry, dishwasher, changed sheets. Bear in mind this is not our agreement, I have also held a steady and demanding job our entire relationship, been the sole bread winner for a while as he has done a late Master's degree. I only had dinner and he still asked for half of my food and I gave it to him hoping it would line his stomach from the booze, and if that's not a metaphor I don't know what is - taking from my own plate to give him 1.5 portions and then being starving myself after. Now I should be sleeping for getting up early tomorrow but it's so late and I'm so wired and upset. I have tried to ask for a separation three times we have been living separately, but each time I get weak after a while, miss him desperately and just want him home, but of course he comes back and is good for a bit, gives me what I missed, and then my tolerance builds. He builds me up and breaks me down. My therapist says I need to try to be understanding as his issue is physiological and I do my best telling him I'm proud when he's been honest that he's drunk and telling him I understand it's hard for him when he's doing bad, but even still later he starts screaming in my face, throwing his ring at me, tonight he has said he won't fly with me to the funeral tomorrow. I am so hurt and dejected. Please help, even just getting some replies here from others who understand will make me feel that little bit less alone. Thanks for reading.

Drugs, alcohol and mental health

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Should we tell our dad about my brother's drug use? by

Hi, so my brother (mid 30s) has admitted to me and my sister (both in our 40s) that he has developed a drug problem. Started years back with prescription pain meds, which he stopped, but recently (last few months) has now started taking a whole range of other drugs, including coke, ketamine, all sorts, and using xanax to cope with the come down. He stayed with me for a week to get away from temptation, which mainly worked, but has gone back to his flat and is using again. He went to a local drug service, has been twice but I'm not convinced he's going to go back. Our mum knows, the strain on her is awful, we are all struggling. My parents are divorced and my brother refuses to tell our dad about it, but as my dad doesn't know he keeps giving him money..thinking It's going on bills when it's going on drugs. Should we tell our dad? My brother won't tell him but his giving him money is not helping. Also I keep thinking if the worst happened (my brother gets seriously depressed and suicidal) how will my dad feel knowing we've not told him? But then, my brother might not trust me again if I tell dad. It's all such a mess. I'm worried about the impact on everyone, including my 2 young children, who love their uncle but I need to keep them safe.

by Rev

5 posts

Back to same old same old by

Well after my son showing some signs that he wanted to change his life last week & a promise that he would join hubby and I for tea tonight, he’s put a note through my door today to say he’s not coming as he is too embarrassed to face us. He’s admitted to returning to begging again & put his bank card & security number in the envelope asking me to withdraw the money £60 NEXT Weds & give it to his sister to pay for the petrol to take him to the rehab centre. All well & good but he hasn’t got a confirmed date to go yet and the last time he gave US money to look after for him (about 18 months ago) within hours he had broken into our house to retrieve it from the mantelpiece! Well I’m posting it back to him. I don’t want the responsibility of it or listen to his nonsense. Asking him to commit to rehab is clearly too big an ask. I am sick of the shame he is bringing to the family in a small town community where he and his family are known. He’s not ready for change despite him saying he is. So sad but it’s made me cross with him & I don’t want to be. He won’t make the effort & I only see more pain watching him sink further and further down.

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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

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.

Lost husband to alcohol by

Hi all So glad I found this forum and hope my ramblings today will make sense to someone out there. I recently lost my husband to alcohol, and although he had other medical issues it was ultimately his drinking that killed him. Since his passing I have gone through many emotions, anger being the predominant one. Angry at him for giving in to it, angry at me for failing him, angry at medical professionals for failing him. Trust me, if I had a milkman I would probably find something to pin on him too. I dealt with his drinking for many years and have tried everything I could to get him to stop and/or seek help. He was getting help to be honest but in the end he thought he could handle it and paid the price. Right now I am very confused and wonder if he ever really cared for me and his family, yes he lied to me for years - part of the illness right? I trained myself to not take his lies, drinking, behaviour, personally but can't help but feel used and mistreated. Aside from myself and our children, none of his family were aware he had an issue and were stunned to find out after his death. I thought I was doing the right thing in keeping his secret but now I am questioning every decision I ever made Sorry for the ramblings, I just need to get these thoughts out and would be interested to know how others cope in a similar situation.