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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. Feel free to share them but please note that anything that raises a safe-guarding or confidentiality concern may be removed and acted upon. Adfam takes no responsibility for the quality or content of the responses.

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Staying strong over the festive period by

Im a middle aged man who gave up alcohol for the sake of my health and kids 2 + years ago. I wobbled twice since (short terms both times) but generally I am strong and dont miss it. However - at this time of year (especially in Scotland) its in your face 24 7. I feel i am a bit of a party pooper at times and almost consider taking a drink to blend in socially! Anyone else feel similar and any ideas for staying strong and not bending to social peer pressure?

My husband and cocaine by

Hi, my husband is a cocaine addict, I’ve been married for 10 years been together for 16 years. My husband is my best friend, a very loyal, honest and loving man before addiction took hold. My husband was practically teetotal before trying cocaine once when he was 30, given to him by a good friend on a day to watch the football. He soon became hooked but this was kept a secret from me for 4 years. He would use when me and my children were asleep in bed. All unknown to us. His behaviour changed massively over this time, paranoia, moodiness and generally being off with us and everyone else, these were the signs, but I failed to see the cause. I often thought he was having a midlife crisis or experiencing some kind of depression. Then the night I found out it was cocaine was the night I was pregnant with our 5th child, he went out to buy dinner and came home intoxicated. He lied and denied everything. I made him leave. During his period away his behaviour become worse, he hated me, he blamed me for everything, he lost his job - that was apparently my fault, that he failed a drug test. He started trying to move on, messaging other women on Facebook telling them we had been separated ages ago and how I was abusive and how he didn’t love me. (This man adored me, everyone said the same, he’d ring me roughly 4 times everyday just to talk to me and see how me and the children were, during the whole of our relationship). He stole two cars belonging to relatives and drove intoxicated to pick up drugs. He was arrested for the one and charged. He bought cocaine on the way to the cinema when he was with our children and used throughout the film, making regular trips to the bathroom. I could go on and on, despite most of these occurrences he still didn’t think he was an addict, he thought it was probably a bit of an issue but definitely not an addict, I could see the horror on his face when it was ever suggested. To him heroin addicts or crack users were addicts not him. This caused me great upset as if he wasn’t an addict that meant these were all choices. He went further away and being so far away from me and the kids made him realise what he was missing, he got a job and trained hard at the gym, but never attended meetings. He came back and was clean for 6 months just in time for our baby to be born. He was fab with her and went back to being the fab dad to our other children that he was pre drugs. I was so happy that I felt I had the old him back. Two weeks before Christmas he relapsed, he was given some on community services, as apparently that’s a thing, it’s a jolly boys outing for drugs. I was devastated, he didn’t come home and confess the lies started straight away and this time he couldn’t convince me, I knew he was using. He spent the next few weeks using and sleeping rough in our garage as I wouldn’t let him in our house because I don’t want drugs around my children especially now I’ve got the baby. The bit that hurt me the most was during one of these reckless nights he didn’t come home for me to go on my work party I found him slumped in the pub alone with the barmaid, he’d apparently told her she was an attractive girl! Not in a pervy way, she said, just in a conversation, but he was also missing his wedding ring. When I asked him why, he denied everything, he said his ring was off before he went out and swore on our children’s lives. He’s not the sort of person to cheat at all, he then said if he did say she was attractive it was just because when you’re off your head you just chat rubbish, but I said “ how come there has been incidents with women, when during the last 5 years of his use there never was” he said maybe it’s because I’m always threatening divorce, he feels like a scum bag at the best of times and that I’ve said horrible things to him in the past that has made him feel insecure. He still swore he would never cheat though and that he loves me more than anything. I think now he’s doing this because he knows with me now he can’t hide the drugs, I will eventually leave him and he’s putting feelers out for moving on. However he says you don’t think like that when you’re on drugs, there’s no logic behind it or thinking of moving on. It’s all still so confusing for me. I just wish he’d go back to the man he was before. It’s so horrible to see someone you love go on self destruct and there’s nothing you can do for them.

by B8988

16 posts

Drugs, alcohol and mental health

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Does cocaine make you more likely to be unfaithful? by

I don’t know if this is a silly question, but me and my husbands relationship has turned toxic, through the damage that his addiction has done. The lying about using, me throwing him out etc. I’ve caught him (usually when coming down) masterbating to porn, he says it’s bevause you just want something to do with your hands coz your up all night, but you can’t usuallly finish because of the coke. (TMI sorry! But he never used to really be into porn before his addiction began, I’ve heard coke makes you horny so I’m just wondering could that be enough to make you cheat if you wasn’t that sort of person sober. He says you still know what you’re doing and that your married etc, but he’s told other women that they are attractive etc which again is out of character but he says it’s more of an attention thing as he feels like crap and thinks it’s only a matter of time before I leave him.

1 post

My husband needs help by

Firstly, i want to apologise for this being such a long post, i don't have much in the way of support and i am literally at the end of what i know i should deal with. I want to paint the picture wholly so you can understand perfectly. My husband (3 years - together for 10) is a cocaine and possible alcohol addict. We have 1 daughter together (7 years) and a son on the way (28 weeks pregnant) He is not a bad person, he has such a good heart, he is kind, caring, romantic etc until he uses, then he changes for 2-3 days at a time. I am not prepared to give up on him yet, and want to find the best way to support him. I am a carer to my disabled father, who lives with us, and i don't have a driver's license limiting my capabilities to do things like shop etc He started using about 4 years ago, during preparation for the wedding, he admitted he was “curious about it” and obviously started the downwards spiral from there. I told him of my thoughts of it and how i didn’t like such a vial drug and he vowed to stop. Which he did for a few months, but then one day started back up again. This was a constant cycle until last year when it become more increased usage. At first it was just once a month maybe even less, and was only recreational, he would return home and i would be non-the wiser. Until one night (2 years ago) we went out together (which we rarely do anymore) and he was kicked out of the club for being caught trying to use in the toilet. We argued because he ruined my night and he promised never again. He stayed clean for over 6 months. It was only when his grandad died that he really started hitting it hard. About a year ago, money started vanishing and started to put us in alot of trouble with bills/debt, but he kept denying where the money had gone, telling me he was still owed money from work (self employed scaffolder) or that he used it to buy X item which cost “more” than it actually did. Of course i believed him, i didnt want to think that he was using again. Until i caught him grinding his teeth one day and showing all the signs of being completely off his face. At christmas we basically had no money, which was very upsetting for me as it meant daughter would not get many if any presents, something i never thought i’d have to contend with. He then started giving me his wages, at least for about 3 weeks. By now it seemed he was using weekly, but only on a friday as his friday treat after work. Just before i found out i was pregnant he agreed to change his job as he felt the job was the influencing factor to his usage. He set about looking for a new job, but all the while his mental health took a nasty turn. He started crying for no reason (which is completely unlike him) having nasty nightmares about something happening to me or daughter which scared him and eventually he agreed to go to the doctors, who signed him off work for a month to allow really strong anti-depressants to get into his system. Our finances took another turn and we became flooded with debt. After returning to work his kind, loving caring nature started to disappear at the weekends again, he would just not return home, ignore or even block me on the phone and leave me wondering if he was even safe. At the end of feb, i found out i was pregnant again, and he was over the moon. His “normal” self returned he was attentive, wouldn’t even let me make myself a hot drink. Until st georges day when he went out and got absolutely smashed. He was supposed to be picking our daughter up from her after school curricular activity, but failed and meant that my dad had to go instead. We ended up in the worst argument of our relationship as i pointed out his utter lack of responsibility to our daughter, being pregnant too my hormones were everywhere, he lied down on the sofa and just told me to “F*** off” one thing led to another and he accidently hit me (waved his hand at me and it connected to my mouth) he was immediately remorseful, jumped up to comfort and help me. Unfortunately i had my 12 week scan the next day and the midwife saw my face and jumped into action. Since then things have been so chaotic with social services involvement and constantly being watched by midwives, and my husband is somewhat plagued with guilt. So plagued that he uses cocaine to cloud his disgust in himself. He seeked help and was doing well, 5 weeks clean (which was remarkable from where we were) things were returning to normal in the household and everything seemed like it was getting back on track. Then his sister (lives a distance away) was in the area and popped in. Her partner is a daily cocaine user and as you can imagine one thing led to another and husband ended up relapsing. Since then hes used every week again, and he says he wants to stop but hes so weak he cant say no. he goes to the pub to collect his weekly wages and i used to go with him, to help him avoid temptation, but now he just goes straight from work and lies and says hes stuck at work. He says that his issue is when he has a pint or two he gets the craving for coke and one thing leads to another, but now hes picking it up and bringing it home (without my knowledge) and when we put daughter to bed, he literally spends the rest of the night (9/10pm -3am) in the bathroom for long periods of time. Thats how i know hes using, but short from literally kicking down the door and causing it to wake people up… what can i do. He never leaves instruments lying around and always cleans up after himself. Its only because a few times ive noticed the little white powder drops, which ive spoken to him about and now he cleans the floor to either stop me noticing it, or to keep it clean because of daughter. He wont talk to me, he wont be honest with me and as of the last 3 weeks hes just not been returning home atall on the friday. He says “ill be 5-10 mins” on a friday and then i don't see him until saturday afternoon. He ignores me again, blocks me and the only message i'll get is i think it's best for you if i disappear. When hes sober he agrees he needs help, that he doesnt want to do it, he hates the after effects, the disappeared money to overall destructive-ness of the drug but then friday hits and we’re back to square one. I deem fridays as the “night from hell”. How can i help him? Im worried ive enabled him and i want to stop that, but he also has basically no support network other than me, im worried about his mental health and what would happen if i kicked him out. Theres times when i have told him not to come home in his state and when he sobers up he returns looking so ill. He doesnt sleep, eat and makes me worry even more about him. I have a support network that are helping me to look after me and my daughter to try and stop us taking on the problem, but when your a family unit that relies on him to bring home the bacon its very hard. Threatening him that he will lose us makes him run and hide - which in turns sends him on his coke path, but i cant just “accept” it because its not healthy for any of us. I love him very much and cannot imagine my life without him in it. I am not ready to give up on him. Our daughter is seemingly unaffected by the problems, shes always branded “a happy child” shes well looked after by me, and with my dads help she gets all attention a child could need. She also doesnt want daddy to leave, and he doesnt want to leave either. Thank you in advance for any guidance :)

Bereavement

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How to deal with addiction stereotype within the family by

My sister took drugs, mainly heroine, for over 20 years. Then six years ago she accidentally overdosed and passed away. Her children were taken into care and our family settled into a time of grieving; and also I must admit relief. During her time she did things to our family that caused no end of upset, but at the end of the day she was still my sister, so I had to deal with a pull of emotions - hating the addict but loving my sister. In time, and with help, I've come to understand the lack of control a drug addict has over their own behaviour and have forgiven what has passed. This has finally brought me peace and allowed me to move on with my life, without the constant anger and self-protection mechanisms that came to control my own personality. Unfortunately my wife still believes a drug addict is in full control of their destiny and all my sister's actions, including her ultimate death, were her own fault and deserving of no sympathy. She drags up all the bad things my sister did during her life and insists I stop feeling sorry for her. This is now causing old wounds to be reopened for me and is increasing tension within my own family. Does anyone have any advice I can offer my wife so she understands the pain her views are having on me?

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