: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

Drugs, alcohol and mental health

24 threads

120 posts

Prescription opioid addiction by

I am new to this website and forum. We have so many questions as we are in what is to us a totally alien and worrying situation, but it's a situation that I can see is familiar to people posting with such sympathy and humanity on here. Briefly, our son has been on opioids from the GP for several years and he does acknowledge that he's addicted. He is incredibly angry and blames the original GP who put him on this drug. He has a young family whom we see often, although they don't live near us. He has just had a year with basically no work after attempting to be self-employed, and with bits of financial support from both sets of parents he was trying to follow a drug reduction programme (with a different GP) but with only limited success. However because the family was suffering a severe shortage of money he has now accepted quite a well-paid job and is pleased with his situation in many ways-- he certainly seems less depressed now he's not stuck at home and has a bit of money in his pocket. BUT he presented this as "we" (his wife and the wider family) were forcing him to go back to work against his will, so he can't now continue the reduction programme. He told us a while back that the GP had said he wouldn't be able to do the reduction programme and hold down a job. This goes round and round in my head. It seems such an unhelpful thing to have said... but perhaps it's true? So my big, first question on this forum is this: I do realise that reducing is incredibly hard, but can anyone tell me whether it is possible to work and reduce drug dependency at the same time, or is he indeed in an either/or situation? I don't know what to believe.


2 posts

Guilt by

First time joining a forum... here goes! Today I had to call the police on my 22 year old son as he trashed his room, was aggressive and threatening to me. This is due to cocaine addiction coupled with Valium addiction which has been going on and off for last 4 years. He has been in and out of young offenders and just two weeks ago spent his first time on remand in the big jail! Out on the Tuesday and back on drugs by the Saturday. This was after promising us me and his dad and also his pregnant girlfriend while he was in jail that his life was changing! However the last fortnight has been the worst by far. He’s never held a job for more than a fortnight, doesn’t pay his way and blatantly tells us he’s taken coke and it’s evident when he’s taken Valium. He does have mental health issues however I believe these have been brought on by the drug abuse. So tonight he is now in police custody facing 7 charges in court tomorrow morning as he started fighting with police! I have made the somewhat difficult decision that this time I will not be visiting him nor speaking to him on the phone as he will almost certainly be jailed. This has not been an easy decision however we have been through hell for four years and for my own health and sanity I need to make this decision. I feel so guilty but I can’t live like this any longer. So very sad.


4 posts

My brother won’t admit he’s still using by

Hello, I desperately want to help my brother out of the cocaine hell he is in. He admited to using heavily, earlier this year, after a lot of money went missing. He now insists he is not using but other things have gone missing, and even though he works full-time he never has any money. I know he has not pulled himself out of a habit that saw him using as soon as he woke up to suddenly being drug free. I offered to pay for him to go to rehab, have asked if I can book doctors/counselling for him but he insists he doesn’t have a problem. How can I get him help? How can I get him to stop lying? Any advice would be so gratefully received.


9 posts

Withdrawal killing both of us by

Hi there, My fiance and I have been on a health kick following his diagnosis of gout, as a result of his drinking. I was so proud of him, he managed to ditch beer completely and moved to watering down his wine. After 20 years of drinking everything, every night. Back to the doctors for a checkup and they threw him in an ambulance with rapid heartbeat and a high pulse. I was gobsmacked, we'd been at it for over a month. I figured any withdrawal was well and truly over now. Apparently not. He'd always had an anxiety disorder which over the years, had gradually increased in intensity. The isolation for weeks on end as a result of him not being able to walk with the gout, the stress of the pain and removing the alcohol which masked it, hit full throttle. Long story short, he's now at home pretty heavily sedated. On top of my full time job, I'm now a full time carer, exhausted by endless panic attacks at all times of night and the need to do absolutely everything for him. I feel terribly guilty being so drained and quite obviously depressed. I can't talk to him about it and I'm scared how I'm meant to go on paying the bills without him at work. He's completely weak, it took him 8 days to be well enough to shower himself. I just feel that our life and our relationship, is at breaking point. Anyone been through something similar?


3 posts

Am I over thinking this... by

I've been with my husband for years but no children, we love each other very much and we can be quite happy, apart from the problem with alcohol. I have never been a big drinker, nor have I come from a family who drinks a lot. We like a couple here and there, but to be quite honest I spent a lot of time not drinking, just because it didn't interest me. Him, on the other hand, is the polar opposite, comes from a family of people who drink to access. He almost sees me as odd because I don't but I completely get why people like a drink, as I do sometimes. When we were a bit younger, I'd lose him for days. He'd go out for a few and not come home, or he'd crawl in an absolute mess. I could never get hold of him because he would just ignore me, as he knew he'd be in trouble I assume. I then spent ages calling around his friends because I'd fear the worst. We've had trips booked and he knows about them, and we'd be leaving to go early and he'd crawl in absolutely smashed after saying he'd go for a few. Ultimately meaning we couldn't go. This has been happening on and off for the past 7 years. Normally it'll happen, I'll get let down because I've stupidly relied on him, we'll talk it out and we sail along fine until it happens a few months later. I've found my bottles of alcohol polished off without me knowing so I don't buy alcohol at all. He does, and I notice he has to have them all. He basically goes off the rails with alcohol and forgets about the impact it has on others. It makes me so mad meaning I'm going to be grumpy. I've tried to keep my cool but it's so hard when it happens. He then spends days feeling sorry for himself, not looking after himself and never doing any housework and I'm left with everything. All came to blows a few months ago when he said he was doing one thing and was actually at the pub early lunch meeting people. So I packed my bags and left the house to stay with friends. I told him I needed space away. He finally agreed with me that perhaps he needs help. He drinks when he is sad and when he is happy and has no stopping point. I've flagged this so many times I'm exhausted from it. I've tried not to push him into anything as I know it needs to come from him, he started following the alcoholics pathway or steps and was doing so well. Then started drinking again. Presently, he trying to find a balance, he has realized he has a problem stopping so is limiting himself. It has been working, but I really really can see him struggling to hold back and say no more. And here we are today. Basically, he has crushed me emotionally without realizing, meaning anything to do with alcohol and him is tainted for me. Every time drink is involved or he is around others drinking I basically lose my husband or I worry I will. I've caught him after a night out meeting mates in the pub having a pint at 11.30am. None of his family see it as an issue because they're all like it, mine are happy to help but don't want to get involved unless last resort and none of his friends realize how bad this is to me. Thing is I'm looking horrendous to everyone because I'm left feeling so low and upset, but nobody understands my situation and what I'm coping with. I'm so embarrassed and alone. Am I just being a nag or is this someone with a problem? And if it is a problem what do I do next as obviously I want to help.


3 posts

Sisters by

Hi I am new to this website and have joined for some support and advice if anybody can help. In July My sister admitted to us that she has an addiction to cocaine and she went to a place for help to stop. It’s there duty to inform social services as my sister has 3 children 11,10 and 6. But things are just going from bad to worse. My sister has violent outbursts and swears at her children and she in my eyes has neglected them. Her home is a complete mess and her two older children are living with my mum or stay with me a lot. The younger one doesn’t like leaving my sister and is very clingy. All the children’s behaviour is worrying they are behind in everything at school, have anxiety issues and also aggressive towards one another. One youngest has displayed some sexual behaviour which alarmed me as it was towards my child who is only 3. My sisters children have now been put on child protection as the social worker feels that my sister isn’t making positive steps forwards. And the children are sending mixed messsages about going home to live. She tells us she has stopped the drugs and has cleared up her home And started decorating her children’s bedrooms... so why would the social services put the children under the child protection? I’m worried sick about my mum who’s getting on now and her blood pressure is through the roof even on tablets. I find it so so hard to understand addiction and myself and my mum resent my sister for what she is doing and we feel bad as we cannot get our head round the fact that you will lose your kids if you don’t stop! I really don’t understand an addiction and how it’s more important than your children Thanks x

by Clara1

5 posts

Where to get my son help by

Hi, my son is nearly 27 years old and I don't know what to do or where to get help. For about the last year he has had depression and is on prozac. I have tried to support him emotionally and try to put strategies in place to help him. I couldn't understand why he wasn't following through with anything and getting worse. Anywho, he moved in with my mum briefly who told me she could smell weed. When I asked him about it, it transpires he smokes every night for 4 hours but categorically denies it affects his depression. I just don't know where to turn or what to do, he has given up his job, has no social life, is paranoid and verbally aggressive. This is all made more difficult as my mum has bought him a flat and despite my wishes financially supports him. My son has a Masters and could have a great future but at the moment he's crippled by his depression and habit. I have tried his Dr's and a few agencies but just get told he is an adult. I need to do something but what?

My partner by

I have been with my partner for over a year and i have seen his drinking over the past few months become worse and worse to the point that over a 8 day period he had 6 bottles of brandy (70cl- 1ltr) i try to talk to him about how much he is drinking and he doesnt seem to think it is that much and everytime we talk about it i just get really upset as i dont know how to help him. But its got to the point that i cant even go out with a few friends for tea without getting verbal abuse over text messages. And when lock myself in a room he tries to argue. This is having a toll on our relationship and i dont know what to do.


2 posts

drugs have taken over my son by

My son is 26years old who has been using since he was around 12 years old started with cannabis now I believe he is using heroin. He used to steal from the home and smash his room up when he was younger if he didn't get his way. He has had a lot to deal with in his life especially grief of losing his disabled sister and nan with dementia. I have tried to show him there is support available but he refuses, I understand he needs to want the help himself. He struggles with relationship's due to the substance miss use and the girlfriend he has is enabling him. My son was doing well in work but now is unemployed and chooses to beg on the streets and sleep rough. I have stopped giving him money although I do still top up his oyster and pay for his phone bill...Am I doing the right thing as I feel this is the only way I know he can be contacted and get from a to b safely. I am new to this forum and would like to hear from anyone with wise words of support. Thank you

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 :)