: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

2 replies

Boyfriend addicted to cocaine

I have been with my Bf for 6 years and what started as weekend use of coke ended up becoming an addiction a few years back. At one point it got really bad, he was stealing and would give dealers his things (phone etc) until the next day when he could get the money to pay them (or more often I’d end up having to pay them). He accepted that he had an addiction and tried to get help, and to some degree he has made progress. He is no longer missing work all of the time and he doesn’t spend all of his money on it. However, the problem now is that I think he is using a couple of evenings a week, but he very often won’t admit it. I think it’s only small amounts because he is still functioning and going to work etc but it’s enough that I notice the little changes in him that make my heart sink. He only admits it now when he has a bad patch and there is no way of denying it. Deep down I know he is using weekly but when i ask him he will lie about it and get upset and angry, so I now stay quiet about it even though it’s killing me inside. Sometimes I worry that I’m so consumed by it that I’m just paranoid 24/7 even when he hasn’t actually used that day. I want to support him and I understand that he has an addiction but equally I feel like I can’t live a life like this and I’m worried that it will never get better. It’s such a lonely feeling and I can’t tell any of my family or friends about it out of fear of being judged. Has anyone ever been in a situation like this? Does it ever get better? I’m not sure what to do anymore.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

replying to SL345

I understand about fear of being judged. Being the partner of an addict can be a really lonely place.

I think the problem with addiction is the person needs to quit completely and often they are not willing to do that. So they will reduce usage, sometimes dramatically, but still use... and to us as their partners or family members it is still impacting us quite badly that they are using a little. To them they feel justified and even proud because they are only doing it a little compared to previously having a severe addiction and doing it a lot.

It's a really difficult situation.

The problem for me is that when you have an addiction, there is always the risk of it getting worse again. So I need total abstinence from the other person.

In my partner's case, he had a severe addiction for a short period a long time ago that I knew nothing about as it happened so long before I met him. He then used recreationally in small amounts for years. He is now in the thick of an over 2 year heavy (for much of it daily) addiction, desperately trying to quit. So I don't know if some people can ever quit fully... I guess they have to really want to and seek the appropriate help etc.

replying to SL345

Hi mate, I hope you're okay.

This topic is a really good one as I think it's really common. Infact it's exactly what I did.

At one point I was really bad, I lost my parents and I was using alot every day and it was plain to see.

I came clean, told my partner and told her I wanted to stop.

In truth, like your partner, I didnt actually stop. I just massively reduced. In my mind at the time, I felt some pride in how I had managed to reduce it alot due to the quality of life Improving just like you said. I wasnt missing work, wasn't spending loads of money was spending alot more time at home and I think because my partner was so used to me being at my worst, she was fooled that this was me back to normal because the contrast was so easy to see.

I convio myself that this was okay because the key to any relationship is compromise right? But because if I told her o was still using but just a little it was just a comprise she didn't need to know about and felt she should be happy with the changes I made.

The problem is though, you can't just dip a toe. After a while the novelty of "the cut down" wore off. The new weekly planner I had in my head "right half a g on Monday then half a g Thursday then nothing at weekends" became okay just this week on Wednesday too, or oh I'm out for a curry Saturday night so I'll have a quick half after the meal with some beers and before I knew it, I was back hiding money, doing it daily and being deceitful again.

It really is a case of, if you are an addict, and you want to stop, then it's a clear line in the sand (excuse the terrible choice of saying haha)

Full stop no more, stop seeing friends who may influence you, stop drinking alcohol, find something you enjoy to keep you occupied, put measures in place to restrict your access to it ie your access to your money and ability to get it like deleting the numbers or telling the dealers your Mrs now knows they sell to you and if they answer to you again she will probably call police on them so it's best they ignore your calls (works a treat that one believe it or not)

I give credit to your partner because he has made a big step and is clearing doing alot better, but you are right to worry that it will escalate because from experience it's not a case of if it will, it's when it will.

Speak to him, ask him to read this response. Maybe even show him this forum and myself and a few others like Dan can talk to him and maybe get him to explore the 12 steps.

Stay strong and hope you're alright

James x

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