: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

5 replies

Boyfriend addicted to cocaine and alcohol.

My boyfriend is a coke addict and alcoholic. He is ambivalent about change - sometimes he wants to cut down because he sees the way it's devastated his life, other times he doesn't have a priority beyond picking up a bag. We met 8 years ago, lived together briefly, moved away but kept speaking for a few years, and then I blocked him until Nov last year because he'd been cheating on me.

His pattern of use is weird to me. His favourite thing is to get a bag on a Friday, and a bottle of wine or vodka, use it all and play PS4. I would find that extremely boring as I see drugs as something social.

We met 8 years ago, fell out of touch because I blocked him, and got back in touch last year. I was shocked when we met up recently.

The impact the addiction has had on him is:

- Physical: part of his nose is deformed and there is a permanent crust of pus and blood even when he's not sniffing coke. Also he looks about 45 at the age of 32. It is hard to explain but he just seems to have aged so rapidly and all at once. I'm 31 and have the beginnings of fine lines.. but he is covered in wrinkles and has grey hair.

- Emotional: he can be quite moody, mainly irritable, and sometimes loses his temper with me. He always apologises after snapping, but he never used to be like this. He was always quite even-tempered.

- Financial: he earned £70k in one year due to working stupidly long hours, and spent it all on coke and alcohol. He has nothing to show for it and still owes £20k on credit cards, payday loans and to various 'loan sharks' around his home town. He has recently taken up labouring work but it's cash in hand and he isn't saving anything (I suspect most goes on coke). His credit score is crap as he has multiple CCJs and will likely never qualify for a mortgage.

- Psychological: he has poor self-esteem, very little motivation and has fallen out of friendship with nearly every friend he's ever had - barring one person who lives in America. He also stole £700 from his parents' charity to buy coke and that strained relations with him, although they have stuck by him.

We are in a long distance relationship so I don't see a lot of what goes on day to day, and I'm not naive about how bad things could be. I know he lies to me about his use, because I used to do coke in my early twenties and I can tell when someone's getting on it. Just the way his voice speeds up or his eyes look on video calls is evidence enough - even without the constant sniffing!

Unfortunately he's working in an industry - building - where drug use (esp. coke) and heavy drinking is somewhat normalised. He was also previously a HGV driver and loads of them use speed to drive long distances. He uses long hours of work as an excuse to buy coke for "energy". But he also uses the times when he's unemployed/has no work as an excuse to use coke because of "boredom".

Essentially I think it's just that addict thing where anything is an excuse to use, e.g. "well it's Tuesday so I'll get one".

I'm stressed out for various reasons. I knew what I was getting into .. to an extent .. but didn't realise until we met up and I could see the damage he's done to his body. By that time we had been speaking every day for a couple of months and I was emotionally invested in him again. I really care about him.. love him.. would like a future with him. Ever since we met 8 years ago, I wanted us to be together. But I have dreams where he's in hospital dying. I don't think our future will be for very long, the way he's going.

Also I'm a newly qualified doctor and I've been told that his drug use could impact my career if we move in together. I'm scared to ask for advice from my union because I worry that it will get traced back to me and I'll get into trouble.

My friends keep telling me to walk away. That isn't an option for me right now. I want to make it work but I don't want to make him into my patient or my child.

I just wondered if anyone has been through similar?

replying to luxurioussnake

Forgot to mention - he's asked to borrow money late at night on several occasions and it's always like £38.95 etc. I said he's obviously trying to raise £40 for a bag of coke and making it look "less suspicious" by not making it a round number. Obviously he denies this and would sent me e.g. a text from O2 saying he needs to top up his phone, or an item in an Amazon shopping basket.

The other night he sent me a text "evidence" and I noticed that the supposed O2 text said "5th may" instead of "5th May". I've never received a text from my phone operator with a grammatical error and immediately became suspicious. I played around with my phone and discovered that you can rename your own phone number as "O2" and effectively text yourself. I am 100% sure that's what he has done.

I try to confront him about these things but he gets cross, turns his phone off, then reappears later claiming to have "fallen asleep". The lying is driving me nuts as I don't know what is real and what isn't. The lying is absolutely the worst thing about it.

He even told me once that his ex gf smashed up his PS4 and he wanted to borrow money to buy a new one. I refused. A month later his "nephew gave him" a PS4. I'm pretty sure he had the PS4 all along and it was just an attempt to borrow money from me for cocaine.

I sound mad and paranoid because I have no evidence for these things. All I can say is that his lies aren't even very good and I can just tell..

replying to luxurioussnake

You have a solid career and a future.

If you let him into your life it will all disappear

You will never trust him.

Without trust there is nothing.

So as Hilton says RUN

Get on with your life whilst you still have one

replying to luxurioussnake

Our boyfriends sound so similar. Mine also drinks and uses cocaine. A year ago, sometime after moving in together he talked about how he’s slowly cutting down and would eventually stop. I believed him, and didn’t want to push or force him to stop cold turkey because I thought he could do it. He seemed sincere and would let me flush his bags down the toilet when I found them.

Fast forward to now, and I’ve just moved into a new apartment away from him because nothing has changed. He’s gotten more secretive and distant and I couldn’t take it anymore. I also talked about moving out when we were still living together but I’m not sure that he believed I’d actually do it. I really miss him, but I’m afraid of what this could do to my future. We’re still together because I still love him, but I guess I want some distance from this. I have no idea if this is even the right thing or if breaking up is better.

Similar to you, I’m young and have a good career. We’ve talked about marriage, kids, etc. but I’m terrified. What if everything I worked for ends up getting destroyed by this. What if we get a house together and I end up being the sole provider because he spends all his money on drugs. He really hasn’t got anything to his name, bad credit, zero savings. I on the other hand have been saving since college and building my credit because I care about owning a home one day and having a nice future.

I do love him and wish he would stop, but I don’t think he’s ready at all. No idea when, or if he’ll ever be. I keep telling myself that there’s tons of other SOBER guys out there who can actually wake up at a normal time in the morning. With mine, it’s like pulling teeth just trying to get him to do something at noon. I feel like I’m dealing with a stubborn child.

I hope living away from him provides clarity. Sadly, living away from him isn’t much different than living with him. He was there, but never fully there. I’m heartbroken.

replying to luxurioussnake

I’m sorry you are going through this . And this is going to seem harsh what I say but as the poster above said - Run .. for the hills . You can’t build a future with someone who’s wrapped up in this and if you do the rapid ageing will be effecting you too .. you know you won’t be able to trust him and it sounds like he’s no where near the point of being himself get off the stuff or booze. Why put yourself through all that - you deserve so much more you don’t need to settle. Please consider - because if you get further down the line marriage and then kids - it gets really tricky and heartbreaking ( I know this ) much love , sending strength xxxx

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