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Addict forever?

Hi All,

I have used some drugs throughout my life, but by no means consider myself an expert on recreational drugs or addiction. I hope that someone can help me understand, or give me advice about what's going on with my boyfriend. Early on in our relationship, he openly admitted that he has had problems with addiction, specifically to heroin, in the past. He said that he had tried almost every drug out there, and had spent time in rehab on several occasions. However, he explained that his addiction to heroin had caused problems in past relationships, and that it was too expensive, and therefore, no longer uses the drug regularly. He said that he had relapsed several times, but now just uses heroin occasionally, and can do so without becoming addicted. When he shared all this with me, I told him that I did not have a problem with him using drugs, as long as he didn't hurt me in the process, or worse, hurt himself. I simply asked that he always be honest with me. Since then, I have had suspicions that he has been using drugs (not just heroin), and in some cases lying to me about it. I am respectful of his privacy, and definitely do not want to become paranoid or constantly look for signs and evidence that I am right. I have caught him lying or "stretching the truth" in some cases, which makes me think that a lot more is going on than I am aware of. His drug use really doesn't appear to be problematic. That said, he claims that he has been addicted to heroin and still been able to maintain a job and relatively healthy lifestyle. I am worried, in thinking about a future with him, that once someone is an addict they are always an addict. I have heard this, and done some research on it. I really just don't understand how, after being addicted to heroin, going to rehab, and relapsing, he can just use the drug occasionally without it becoming a problem. Additionally, he regularly uses other drugs, really whatever he can find--pot, prescription pain killers and amphetamines, and methadone.  I know that addicts are good liars, but lying is something that I cannot tolerate in a relationship. Does anyone have any thoughts on or experience with this? I guess I just want to know what I'm getting myself into, if I should be worried, and if (without help), drugs will always be a significant part of his life. I would greatly appreciate any outside perspectives that may help.
2 Responses
1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
everything you have described and are experiencing is what it is like  to live with someone in active addiction. Using drugs no matter if its pain pills,heroin,etc...........the fact is drugs are definitely a part of his life and yes now yours. addicts very easily cross over from one drug to another.. He may appear to have it under control, working, that just means he is a functioning addict.
Stretching the truth is lying. He is only telling you parts of the story. There are definitely pieces missing. How do you think it isn't problematic? He is hurting you and himself.he hasn't admitted to himself or you that his addiction is still very much alive.
Yes once an addict always an addict. They  are either addicts in recovery or addicts in active addiction. He has been in and out oof rehab. He has continued to relapse because. he has not continued to work his recovery. He needs to constantly keep himself in check. Stay active in support groups, na/aa and seek one on one counseling with therapist,addiction counselors to get to the bottom of my he uses in the first place.  
Living with an addct can definitely consume your life, so far you say you respect his privacy . To move forward in the relationship would be very hard without total trust and it has already been broken. You should check into some alanon meetings to learn more about addiction and recovery.
82861 tn?1333453911
Ditto what beach said, and I'll emphasize even more that you need Al-Anon in a large way.  You're falling into the classic codependent trap that most of us do who live with and care about addicts.  Life becomes all about the addict and we find ourselves behaving like DEA cops instead of equal partners in a mature relationship.  That way lies chaos, insanity, destruction and whole lot of unhappiness.

Abusing any substance is not OK.  How on earth can you believe that it is?  Being in the company of someone who is intoxicated is not safe and makes a lie of the relationship.  The active addict's first love is drugs - not you.

Your boyfriend is in typical, active addict denial.  He truly believes that he can use drugs recreationally and that as long as he doesn't become physically dependent (meaning he'll go into withdrawal if he suddenly quits or can't get a fix) that he's not an addict.  Very classic behavior in someone who never really worked a recovery program.  It's only going to go downhill from here.  It's up to you to decide if you want to ride along with him.
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