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How Can I Help An Alcoholic or Drug Addict? – Specific Things You Can Do To Help

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  1. Understand Addiction In Order To Help Addicts
  2. Get Help Yourself In Order To Help The Addict
  3. Establish Boundaries And Set Limits With The Addict
  4. Confronting The Addict
  5. Organize a Formal Intervention
  6. Assess A Person’s Addiction In Order To Determine The Correct Approach
  7. Practicing Detachment

Understand Addiction In Order to Help Addict

This is a logical and very necessary first step. Before you can learn how best to help a struggling addict or alcoholic, you need to understand the nature of addiction. There are several models of addiction that attempt to describe what it is and why it affects people, but none of those models are entirely accurate. Many people have heard of the disease model, which does a fairly decent job of describing what we see in the real world. For example, even addicts or alcoholics who have stayed clean for several decades can relapse and be right back to their old level of consumption within a matter of days.

Also note that addiction can affect potentially anyone, including those who:

  • Have no apparent genetic predisposition for addiction or alcoholism
  • Have very little environmental risk
  • Have no moral shortcomings or laziness about them

Even if you do not believe in the disease model, learning more about how it works is a necessary foundation in learning about how you can potentially help a struggling addict or alcoholic. If you want to know how to help alcoholics then you need to learn about the condition.

Get Help Yourself In Order To Help The Addict

We cannot control a drug addict or an alcoholic, but we can control our own behavior, including how we behave in relationship to a sick and suffering (and possibly manipulative) addict or alcoholic. Therefore, the best thing that you can do if you want to help someone in your life is to get yourself to an Al-Anon meeting. The people there can listen to your situation and give you the best specific advice on how to go about handling things. Educating yourself on how to set limits and boundaries is one of the most important things that you can do in this case.

Establish Boundaries And Set Limits With The Addict

One example of setting a boundary is telling a close friend that you prefer they not be around you if they are drunk or high. Notice that it is specific, and you have to sit down and communicate this type of request explicitly with someone. Setting a boundary like this is difficult because there is this tendency to hurt other’s feelings. But that is part of what is keeping you sick, caring more about this person’s feelings than your own personal well being. Setting boundaries is about putting your own personal well being first, and letting that be a guiding example of how to live. You know you are setting effective boundaries when you are taking back control of your own life and starting to regain your own sanity, instead of being all wrapped up in the problems of a struggling drug addict or alcoholic. This is a crucial distance you must learn to keep when learning how to help a recovering drug addict.

Confronting The Addict

Any time that you casually approach this struggling addict or talk with them about the possibility of getting help is an example of an informal intervention. This might not sound like a very useful option compared to a more formal and organized intervention, but nonetheless it can be very effective. In my own personal experience, I finally decided to ask for addiction help and thus changed my whole life after a simple phone conversation with a family member. The reason for this was because timing was everything. Previously, a formal intervention had failed, because I simply had not been ready to make a change at that time. But a key conversation happened at just the right moment, and it set in motion a series of life changing events for me.

Does this mean that you should pester someone incessantly until they get clean and sober? Probably not. Helping an addict is never that straightforward. But you should never give up hope on them, and you should have a consistent message for them without badgering them. Make sure they know that help is available for them if and when they want it.

Organize a Formal Intervention

This is what most people think of when they hear the term “intervention,” where the friends and family of an addict all get together and confront that person together and urge them to get help. This is not necessarily the best choice though. There is a lot of evidence that an addict or alcoholic will only change when they personally come to their own point of surrender. A formal intervention does not bring a person to this point. Many would argue that the intervention would only work if the person is already at this critical point of surrender. Nevertheless, some formal interventions have been successful at persuading people to get clean and sober. Here is a full guide to planning and organizing a formal intervention.

Assess A Person’s Addiction In Order To Determine The Correct Approach

A friend or loved one who is caught up in the cycle of addiction has to be approached in the right way. We all know how worthless it is for advice to fall on deaf ears, and this is bound to be the case with certain approaches in trying to help struggling addicts. But there are specific, proactive actions that you can take regardless of where your loved one is at in their addiction. There are no hard and fast rules here because different personality types will call for different approaches. One valuable guideline might be to always use a caring approach instead of a threatening one. Consider the different levels of denial and willingness to change that an addict or alcoholic might have:

Complete Denial – If a person is in complete denial of their addiction, then there is little that you can do other than focus on your own behaviors and actions. The best that you can do in this case might be to communicate your boundaries with the person and let it be known that you won’t be bailing them out of any jams. A formal intervention is unlikely to produce an immediate change, although it might be a step in letting the person know how much everyone cares for them. In some cases, a formal intervention might be an unhealthy move on your part…better to take care of yourself at this point and simply establish healthy boundaries with the person.

They are Admitting to their Problem, but are Reluctant to take action - This is the difference between admitting and accepting that they have an addiction. This person is technically still in denial, but they just aren’t willing to change yet. The fear of change, the fear of life without chemicals is too great for them, even though they know that they have a real problem. They are caught between a rock and a hard place.

I was in this state for several years, but was scared to get help and make a change. I was terrified of the thought of facing life without drugs and alcohol. What finally got me to ask for help and change my life was a simple, informal conversation with a family member over the phone. This is what finally “did the trick,” whereas a full scale formal intervention in the past had failed. But also realize that the formal intervention might have been a critical part of the journey. They Admit to their Problem and Say they are Willing to Change, but only on Their Own Terms – This is still denial, but in its sneakiest form. The person has agreed to address their addiction and says that they are willing to change. They might even have a genuine willingness to change. But the problem is that they are only going to change on their own terms.

Fear is holding them back. The person is so close to making a life changing decision. Tread with caution and don’t push them over the edge. Be helpful and supportive. Personality type will help dictate if this is the best time for a formal intervention or not. If they are secluded, isolated, shy, or have anxiety or depression, then a formal intervention with lots of people might be a bad idea at this point. If you want to know how to help drug addicts then you have to learn to figure out how hard you can press up against this wall of fear. It can be a tricky balance to attain.

They Accept their Addiction and Will do Almost Anything You Suggest – This is complete surrender, and represents someone who is ready to change. Get them to a treatment center or a twelve step meeting.

Practicing Detachment

One of the key principles that will help you in dealing with a struggling alcoholic or drug addict is detachment. The idea behind it is to separate yourself emotionally from the damaging effects of your relationship with the addict or alcoholic. It is not the same as complete disassociation or abandoning the relationship. The idea is to care for them while detaching emotionally. You can care for them but not feel like you are responsible for them. In other words, you are specifically trying to not get all wrapped up emotionally by an addicts destructive behaviors.

This is difficult.

Practicing detachment should make it easier over time. Here are some things that you can do in order to practice detachment with the struggling addict in your life:

  • Don’t do things that they should be doing themselves.
  • Don’t bend over backwards to rescue them or save them from natural consequences.
  • Don’t cover up for their mistakes or embarrassing situations.
  • Don’t rescue them from crisis or financial situations.
  • Don’t try to fix them.
  • Let go of any guilt you may have about them.

Detachment is not about denying your emotions. If someone close to you dies, for example, you will probably feel sad. You can’t choose this feeling. It simply is. But we do have the power to affect the intensity of this feeling, by focusing on the positive aspects of the situation. We can also change our thinking in an attempt to eradicate irrational beliefs that might be contributing to our emotional turmoil.

The goal is not to go without emotions, the goal is to achieve some level of emotional stability. We are detaching from the negative, irrational thoughts that stir up our emotions, like the guilt we might have if we think someone’s addiction is our fault.
Detachment is difficult and takes practice. I urge you to find local Al-Anon meetings and get involved with them, as those are the people who can help you the most.

Good luck to everyone out there and God bless.

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  • Glenna

    The following article has great information. My Aunt and Uncle are currently struggling with their addicted 23 year old daughter. The problem is that the parents just arn’t willing to stop enabling her. Even though the pain is so severe for them. It seems that they might need to endure a bit more. They are really emeshed and not ready to detach…

  • gail

    Your article summarizes what is the only way to deal with an addict. I have a son who is 24 and is on a slippery slope again. The article about not stagnating describes him completely. He actually said that to me verbatum recently regarding his life. He is the sort of person that has to be doing new and intersting things or he gets bored…I didn’t realize that it was a personality trait of an addict.
    I attended alanon for a year regularly and now go from time to time but I can’t agree enough how much attending helps change your mindset. For me the guilt thing is huge and I am finally being able to slowly not let it dominate me to such a large degree.
    Good articles and coming from a recovering addict, it holds a lot of weight.
    Thanks

  • Patrick

    Thanks for your comment, Gail. Your situation with your son reminds me of my own…I finally got clean and sober when I was 25 years old and have managed to stick now for 7 years plus. I am definitely not stagnating in my recovery and it sounds like you are making growth in your own life….hopefully your son can find the path soon, it’s not fair that others suffer for someone’s addiction. Please don’t feel guilty about it, that’s just crazy!

    Hang in there and good luck to you and your son. God bless.

  • Chris

    Great article. I really needed this. My friend that im trying to help is a heroin addict. She knows that she has a problem but is only willing to change under her own terms. I have been doing everything in my power to help her with no success. The lack of improvement has been wearing me down emotionally for months. I’ve had 2 emotional breaks, the last one just 4 days ago. I’ve been taking xanax to control my anxiety over the situation and have noticed recently that I have been drinking alot more than I normally do which scares me. This article has shown me I need to take care of myself first and has given me a clearer approach to how I can help my friend. Wish I found this site 3 months ago. Thanks

  • Patrick

    Hi there Chris

    Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you do need to take a look at your own self-medicating behaviors as well, that is great that you realize that for yourself and now you can take action and do something about it. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in trying to save others that we forget to save ourselves….this is a really common thing actually in relationships that involve addictions. I hope you and your friend can both find a path to healing. Good luck and God bless.

  • maryfran

    Trying to detach from daughter who is cross addicted and is being abused by husband. She has attempted suicide and suffered brain damage. For 2 yrs. I’ve been driving myself to verge of breakdown and I know from reading the above, I need help!! going to find meeting, thank you

  • Patrick

    Yes, get to an Al-Anon meeting, Mary, and hopefully you can get some genuine support from the people there. Good luck to you and your daughter, try to stay positive….I know it’s tough. God bless.

  • CJ

    My daughters father is in his 5th month in AA recovering after a very long time from opiates and alcohol. His personality is completed changed to mean, threatening, more selfish than before..He was never mean and threatening. Is this normal?

  • Patrick

    Hi there CJ

    The fact that he is mean and threatening might be a fairly typical experience, actually. Certainly there is an adjustment period for any recovering addict or alcoholic. I personally went on a roller coaster for the entire first year, with ups and downs and getting very depressed at times. I tended to get sad and become withdrawn. Others might react with frustration and anger.

    There are a lot of possible reasons for this up-and-down roller coaster of emotions in early recovery. One is the chemical withdrawal itself, which can have much longer term effects than most people have heard about. Another is the emotional loss of the drugs and alcohol. Furthermore, I just plain had to learn how to live again; how to feel comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t just get sober one day and then the next everything was all peaches and cream. It took a bit of time to open up and come out of my shell and start to appreciate the simple things in life again.

    Thanks again for your comment CJ and good luck to you (and him!) on your journey.

  • jw

    I am glad to have found this site, although I don’t think I’m ready to quit yet, it’s nice to know there are people out there to listen and offer advice.
    Thanks!

  • Melissa H

    Thank you for all the information. I will be reading “codependant no more”. I ave just separated with my fiance of 3 years. He is in a 30-day rehab facility as we speak. This is something that he wanted, and I pray he is on the right path to recovery. As I still love him dearly, he knows that I am still here to support him, but will have to do so from a distance. Am I doing the right thing for him??

  • chickenlil

    I was introduced to your blog by Bill Urell – it looks really interesting and I will spend some time here. I have a 28 yr old alcoholic son who is now sober for several months, after more than 10 yrs of craziness. He has been through 30 day rehabs 5 times, spent the past year in supervised environment, relapsing regularly – what finally made the difference was we got him out of town so he no longer had an enabling community for his addiction. He crashed very hard but has now woken up, thanks to a tough sponsor and local AA support. The best thing I ever read on this subject was called “Don’t Help” – which outlines the disease model and shows how gradually tolerance levels increase until they plateau, and the alcoholic loses everything on the first drink. My son now tells his coworkers who want him to join the party, “if I do that, you will never see me again.” I pray for his recovery and hope for his future every day, but we learned not to “help” and that has made the difference.

  • Patrick

    It sounds like you are on a path to a healthier relationship, Melissa. I don’t know the ultimate answer for you and your fiance, but it sounds like he is taking some healthy steps if he is in residential treatment. Hopefully that will produce a positive change for him, but remember to take care of YOU through all of this…

    It sounds like you are being supportive in the right way. Maybe you could seek out an Al-anon group though and get even more help and guidance from them? Anyway, good luck to you and God bless.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Chickenlil

    Yes Bill has an awesome website and he is genuinely helping a ton of people out with it.

    Your son sounds an awful lot like me and my story….I did about 10 years of craziness as well before finally getting clean and sober. I think you are on to something too when we talk about helping an addict by “not helping.” Sometimes we need to find our own bottom without our loved ones saving us every time…

    Good luck to you and your son, and thank you so much for the comment.

  • susan

    I have a son that will be 33 in 1 wk. He has been out of the hospital 4 times in 2 months. The Dr’s say he won’t see another 2 years. He says-he has to do it his way. I am ready for a breakdown & will start seeing a therapist next. When I think of burying myonly son, I don’t think I’ll be able to go on myself. I know I HAVE to go, I also have a daughter that is very ill with RA. I wish I had some simple solutions.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Susan

    It sounds like you are in the same exact position my mom was in before I finally got clean and sober. Sorry you’re going through this, I can only guess how awful it is to watch your child self-destruct.

    My parents were attending an Al-Anon group and got some support there. They met some people who really tried to help them, and it did help, but that won’t change what your son is doing.

    There is no magic wand.

    But there is hope. I was blessed with sobriety, seemingly out of nowhere, and I’ve been clean and sober now for over 7 years and counting.

    My only real suggestions for you are to pray and to find support in groups such as Al-Anon. Good luck to you and your son and God bless.

  • Pj

    Glad I found this web site. My boyfriend is an alcoholic. He was sober for 1yr 3months. Then all of a sudden he started drinking again. I didn’t relize that what wrong things I was doing for him, until I read what was said on this site. Little things that I didn’t think twice about doing for him. Boy was I making a mistake. It is hard to say no to him. Just thought it was easier to do then to fight with him. We just got in a huge fight today name calling and all. Maybe it is over for the two of us now. I love him and I know he loves me. But his drinking is getting worse and I can’t handle it anymore. I know I am not to blame now!!! He says he wants to get help but it is hard. Is this just an excuse? It needs to be on his terms only???? Please help me!!

  • Patrick

    Hi there PJ

    I’m glad you found this site as well. Sounds like you are in a tough situation. Your last question at the end tells the whole story: if he is insisting that he gets “help” on his own terms, then he is not ready to stop drinking. Period. I know this, because I was in the same boat, still drinking, while my friends and family kept urging me to get help. But I was scared and stubborn and I would only take “help” on my own terms, so I continued to drink.

    The key is surrender. I had a moment when I stopped fighting everything, I just put up my hands and said “enough.” And it was a relief because I knew I was done with the madness for a while. That was my moment of surrender. And I went to my loved ones and said “I will do anything you tell me to, I want to stop. Tell me what to do.” See the difference? That’s surrender. You ask for help.

    I sincerely hope he can get to this point and ask for help and change his life. As for you, PJ, I think the best thing for you to do is to get to an Al-Anon meeting. They can help you more than I can. Good luck to you and God bless.

  • kate

    I could use some experienced guidance.
    My father is a chronic, severe alcoholic for 40+ years. Most of that time I lived abroad and only saw him on yearly visits. I’ve recently moved back to the town he lives in and reside only a couple blocks away. We’ve always had a good bond. Even drunk, he’s gentle, shy and quite stubborn.
    For the past year he has been off on compensation after a severe work injury that left him partially crippled and in constant pain. During this year he also began abusing prescription meds.
    Last night he had another incident that is becoming all too common. severely drunk he wandered into the kitchen naked, peed all over the floor and fell down – causing another injury. He was so out of it he couldn’t remember where his bedroom was or how to get there.
    Today when he was a “bit more sober” we had a long talk. I pointed to his drink and introduced it as his “master” and told him exactly where this slavery was leading and that I just don’t have the strength to watch that happen to him.
    He has agreed to go to his doctor on Monday (he has the appointment) and ask for help to get into a dry-out program. I stuck with the subject until he agreed that HE had to do it for HIS OWN LIFE and not because it was what I said to do. He’s still in denial though on the seriousness of the addiction.

    His appointment is 3 days away. I’ve promised to come and visit him tommorow evening. Now I feel stuck though. I don’t know whether to press the subject more, bring it up again – talk about it further??? I don’t want to see him forget about it or change his mind. It’s also a weekend and we live in a small town so services aren’t available until Monday.

    Any advice? Guidance? Experience with this? I will take it all under advisement and appreciate any responses.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Kate

    Not an easy situation. There are no blanket statements or automatic strategies in this case, you have to carefully assess the situation and your relationship with your father. You know him, we do not. How will he react if you press him on it? Is there the potential that he will shut down completely and refuse treatment altogether? If you think that’s a likely response, then you might not want to push things.

    But you know him, we do not. Maybe he needs the push. Maybe you truly know in your heart that he is not ready to change, but you are looking for a way to try to force that change or wake him up somehow.

    I think it would be helpful for you to get help at an Al-Anon meeting if you don’t already attend. They can talk with you about these kinds of specifics and get into more detail with you. It is such a tricky line for knowing how hard to push against someone that is struggling like this, you don’t know if you can force a change or if it will alienate them from you. If they are close to completely self destructing, that might tip the balance for you and you might decide to pull out all the stops and do everything you can to force them into treatment by taking away any options. We’re not always in a position to be able to do this though, and sometimes it doesn’t work anyway.

    Just a tough situation, you’ll have to judge for yourself how much to push him, hopefully he will concede to treatment and go get detoxed somewhere. Good luck to you Kate. I wish I could be more helpful in situations like this.

  • Deb

    My 26 yr old son has been abusing alcohol and marijuana for 8 yrs. He is highly gifted with a very high I.Q. He has recently failed all classes at the University and has come home to live with us again. My husband and I told him that if he doesn’t get help (we are willing to pay for rehab) he must move out. Well, he wants it on his terms. Says he’d like to quit drinking but wants to continue to smoke weed on weekends. We told him he has 2 weeks to move out. We love him so much and only want to help him. He isn’t talking to us now and is putting the blame on us. (says if we really loved him we wouldn’t make him leave) Did we make the right decison?

  • Patrick

    Wow, Deb, that sounds so much like my own story that it is downright scary. That was basically my exact situation at one point, and I told my parents I would continue smoking weed forever, and they said that was unacceptable. I told them that I was willing to hit the street and become homeless….over weed! Now this was early in my addiction but I think it points to a greater truth: anyone who is willing to forgo shelter for a drug (any drug) is definitely an addict. In my situation, I actually moved in with some friends at work and started drinking and smoking dope with them every day.

    This is such a tough call and there is no right answer, but I think you probably made the best decision, for both him and yourself, and I think it was the healthiest decision. If you let him stay then it would be enabling on your part, propping up his easy lifestyle and drug use. At least if he moves out he will have to “own” his drug use and the choices he makes and the consequences that they bring. Forcing him to move out will bring reality to face him that much quicker. I think it’s the right move, but it’s an awfully tough situation, I know. Prayers for you and your son, God bless.

  • April

    My partner is an alcoholic and it is very tough for me,We were living together for 1 and half years.I understand little bit about alcoholic.I did everything for him to make him under control.I tried also to kept his money and cards so he couldnt use it to buy an alcohol but when I came home from work everything at home was gone he sold it!Infact,2 days ago he started drinking again and I made up my mind to send him to a hotel and get a room and drinks for him as how much as he can drink and I’ll pay the bill after the drinking period. For me,I think this is the better way to help him and help for myself because I am working everyday atleast when I am not with him he is safe.For now this is the better way I can do for him.I need more advice…thanks!

  • dazedanddistraught

    I have just been through 6 months of hell by dating an alcoholic-addict. When I met him he was 3 months into recovery, he had a decent job, and he was the nicest, sweetest, smartest, most beautiful guy I ever met. He was honest with me upfront — told me he was in rehab and he was in fact an addict. At first I was a little apprehensive, but when I got to know him a little bit more I decided I was okay with it…he was in recovery after all. He seemed stable and he did his job very well. He was religiously going to AA and NA meetings every day, more than once sometimes. He prayed every night. He phoned his mother every day. He was too good to be true.

    Needless to say,we “fell in love” quicker than one can bat an eyelash and we became almost inseparable. Pretty soon he moved in with me. He’d drive us to and from work together, we lived together, we went to the gym together, we did everything together. Everything was good. This went on for a month. Then he started to relapse for god knows what reason.

    He started to drink and use crack again. I didn’t know how to handle it, I just stood by him and waited for him to get over the little bump in the road. I was hoping it would be just a phase and that he would wake up soon and continue with his program. I waited for 6 whole months!!!!!!!! I’ve sat and watched him throw his life away. First he lost his car, then his job, then he started losing his things. He kept his clothes at my place, but I told him he couldn’t live with me anymore. He stayed over every now and then throughout the past 5 months and we would have totally normal moments. We’d watch movies, take a walk in the park, he would cook and bake…totally normal and fun things that made me fall more in love with him despite the fact that in reality he was still spiralling down into a blackhole. I tried to give him something positive to hold on to. He is a guy that lives in a shelter! I wanted to give him a break. Apparently it all meant nothing. Because he is neck deep in his addiction. Despite wanting to change, he is unable to. He’s been phoning a rehab everyday to try to get in, but it won’t be another month or so till he gets in. Meanwhile, he has been going out on a rampage — drinking and drugging and even stealing. A month ago, he stole money over $1000 from my roommate, and I had to pay him off or lose my home! Also I didnt want to get him arrested. I don’t understand why I do these things for him. He has caused me pain, though he had never intentionally harmed me, his addiction has taken a life of its own! Just being with him is risky. Today, he finally picked up all of his things from my place and left.I let him go. I feel abandoned somehow…like all my help and patience were for nothing. that everything I did was worth nothing. I feel horrible, but I know this is probably for the best. I need to hear it from other people who have gone through the same experience …. will it be better from now on?

  • April

    Hi DAZE,

    Our experienced were exactly the same.When I read your comment I really feel like you know my story is.lol. As what I am telling on my first comment he is in the hotel now until now, I sent him in the hotel so I can work my job properly.I call him every now and then.
    I fact, After an hour I will come to him to visit to pay the bill and to change his clothes before I go to work.I really don’t know if I can keep doing the same thing in the future,sometimes I had a feeling to gave up but when I remembered how he takes cared of me, he treated me like a baby, an angel,he loves me so much,he supported me from head to toe and I really love him.That is why I am still with him until now.Please help me to pray as soon as possible.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Dazed and April

    I am sorry to hear about both of your situations. Daze, when you spoke about falling in love with him and then the relapse, this is something that I have seen over and over again while living in long term treatment. Out of all the guys I lived with who were recovering, practically all of them went out and eventually relapsed, and it was always always always over a relationship.

    Relationships are so tricky in early recovery. Most people don’t realize how they replace spiritual growth, but they do. That’s why it’s a good idea to wait for a period of time, maybe six months or a year, before getting into a relationship in early recovery. I have seen so many people relapse because of the emotional roller coaster that it is just crazy.

    The tricky part is because a new relationship feels so good. It really is a replacement for the drug itself, and substitutes for the growth that one experiences from seeking a connection with a higher power.

    I wish I had more wisdom for both of you but all I can say is that relationships in early recovery are extremely dangerous. The only advice would be to take things much slower than usual or simply wait a while. Thank you both for your comments and good luck to you…..God bless

  • Lee

    2 days ago my best friends husband went into a detox center. He says that he is ready for a rehab center. I have a real hard time believing anything he says, even when he is doing well. Last night my friend and I attended a local NA meeting. We are not addicts ourselves, but seeing those people have hope, gave us hope. Going to that meeting was one of the best things we could have done. Since we are not addicted, we were asked not to speak, but we didnt need to. Hearing that there is others dealing with this is very helpful. We will go to a Nar-Anon meeting, but its in another town. Hearing it straight from an addict made alot of things clear for us. Its a horrible, terminal disease. But its not hopeless. There is a big difference between letting go and giving up. This article re-enforces that, so thank you.

  • http://deleted Lee

    Patrick,
    I may not have read this too thouroughly, but in your last comment you talk about relapse after relationships. My question is, what do you do when your already married and its a new thing? Should you get out and start over later? I think that would be more detrimental. We are just so lost and are looking for any kind of support and advice there is. Anything is helpful at this point. I know relationships are no good for a new recoverer, but how do you deal when the relationship is alreday established? Thank you.

  • Patrick

    That is a good question, Lee, and I’ve wondered about that myself. The answer to it has come through watching others around me in my recovery.

    Obviously, people who are married don’t have to get divorced simply because they got clean and sober. It’s very possible (and exciting) when a recovering addict or alcoholic can get clean and grow with their spouse. This is very possible; I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen it work out.

    Of course it doesn’t always work out, and sometimes people split up or drift away or grow apart. This happens quite a bit, actually, and it usually has to do with codependency issues. One person gets clean, and starts to grow and become more healthy and assertive. The other half of the relationship probably doesn’t even realize that they were codependent and fed off the others reckless behavior in addiction. So sometimes one person getting clean can sort of bring both people to their senses and they might realize that they really are not right for each other. I’ve seen this happen more often than not.

    But if the addict is married or in a long term relationship, there is real potential for making things work if they manage to stay clean, no doubt about it. You gotta have hope! Good luck to you Lee and thanks so much for your comment.

  • http://deleted Lee

    We all really appreciate your answer. They let him out of detox yesterday and we went to an NA meeting almost immediately after release. He actually stood up and talked, which I didnt think he would his first time. He was brutally honest about his need for drugs or any substance, addmitted his need for help. I like to think its a great sign, but its still hard to trust it. Like they said last night in the meeting, only think of today. Today he is trying. Today he is working the steps. It just kills us that tomorrow is uncertain. It takes alot of time and effort and hope! LAst night after the meeting, 5 men came up to him and really showed support, gave them their numbers, and he got a sponsor. I think its great for him to be around positive people, people who are addicts, but sober. It gives us hope. I dont know what its like to struggle with that kind of thing, but I know from a non addict point of view, and its painful for us. Cant imagine what he has to endure with this. After realizing that we are not alone, it uplifted us emensly. Ive never felt so alone and misunderstood in my life. Im sure he feels the same way, so its good to have people who care. Thank you very much for your response. I have shared this website with my friends. I know they will have questions in the near future. ITs good to mot be so alone.

  • http://deleted Lee

    He relapsed already last night. Not even 12 hours out of detox. what are we supposed to do now? its like beating a dead horse. im exhausted. Im not sure what else I can do now.

  • Patrick

    I’m so sorry Lee. I relapsed many times before I “got it.” I don’t have any wisdom for you, I’m afraid. Sometimes you have to let people fall down a bit. I can recommend 3 things for you at this point:

    1) Look after your own sanity first.

    2) Get to an Al-Anon meeting.

    3) Pray.

    Hang in there and keep us posted. Prayers for you and for him.

  • dazedanddistraught

    Thanks to everyone who replied.

    Patrick, I feel so sad to hear you say that. I wish i had known better than to give in to emotions. If only we had taken things slow…sigh.

    What you said made sense though. I think he tried to use me as a substitute for something — the drug or higher power or whatnot. But of course it failed. I tried to be the best that i can be to him, I tried to be the best friend ever. I know that he tried to be content and happy too with me. But that was not enough. He has to be strong enough himself, and not rely on an external source for strength. Now I’m not too sure whether he really loved me, or did he simply love the idea of being in love because he got a high from it.

    He kept promising it would get better and that he would change. Yet he kept yielding to his cravings, it was so frustrating!

    i’ve learned a difficult and painful lesson from this, Love does not always conquer all. Especially not addiction.

  • Patrick

    Sorry again for your loss, Dazed. Yes, we can substitute a relationship for our drug of choice because new relationships feel so good at first. They bring a euphoria all their own, and we think that the good feeling will last forever, that the good feeling is unique to this situation because we have just found the most perfect person in the world, and so it will always be peaches and cream. Of course this isn’t true, there are always ups and downs, and there are always going to be days (for an addict) when they are struggling with life or just having a bad day and the new relationship-high will have worn off a bit. That is when addiction pounces if the person doesn’t have some level of spiritual grounding.

    This idea of spirituality overcoming addiction has to come from within–an outside relationship is merely a substitute for it. Just my observation on those I’ve seen in the program who have found success.

    Anyway, thanks so much for sharing with us, hopefully your story can benefit others. It sounds like you are going to be a stronger person as well, Dazed. Thanks so much for your comment.

  • Laurie

    Thanks for the honesty here. My brother’s son (adopted) just turned 18 upon his release from a facility to help him with his addictions (alcohol mainly). My brother and his wife are devastated by this child’s rebellion, as he refuses to go back to ‘program’ and refuses to move in with them again (can’t blame him there but that’s another story). In the meantime, I keep hearing what seems to me a monster excuse–‘we just don’t understand the mind of an addict.’ Or, “He’s an addict…” as if that’s an excuse to do what he’s doing: the lying, stealing, manipulation, etc. Part of me is like get over yourself already, part of me wants to whack him upside his head, and another part of me wonders how a kid can become an addict so early. Is there really such a thing as the mind of an addict??? Help me here..

  • dazedanddistraught

    Thank you for your comments.

    I think I’ve learned to detach myself, hence, I’ve broken up with the guy and got rid of all romantic notions. He understands the reason why we broke up and he is distancing himself from me to protect me.

    I saw him the other day, quite by accident, after a long time of not hearing anything from him. I felt so relieved! I just stepped out the balcony and there he was, walking down the street! He has been on my mind since we said goodbye so I couldn’t resist not talking to him.

    He is living in a shelter now and is in very bad shape. He is currently waiting to get into rehab, but is having a hard time during the wait. It will be 2 more weeks. He admits he is an addict, and he hates his addiction. But then he tells me that he can’t just stop cold turkey because his body craves it and he is not strong enough yet to resist. He says once he gets into rehab and gets some programming, in, he will be able to change his life. I don’t know if this is what you would call “surrender”?I told him I’ll have to see it to believe it…

    Anyway, he is my friend and I could not say goodbye totally despite the horror I’ve been through with him. Is this a bad decision to still be in touch with him? I feel sorry for him, but now I know that all I can do is wish him the best and be there for him to talk to. He says that talking to me gives him hope…

    People have told me that addicts have no capacity to feel real emotions. Does knowing that people care actually help them in these situations?

  • INaPew

    Hi, DazedandDistraught,
    If you think you can be strong enough to be kind and civil to him without getting tied up with his problems and manipulations, then I’d say to go for it. What’s the harm in being kind? If you start to sense that he’s interpreting your kindness for weakness, or if you begin to notice that he’s taking your helpfulness as a sign you are ready to resume the relationship, I’d say do not encourage it. Back away, surefootedly and determinedly. Who knows what the future will bring? Right now, however, it seems too early in his recovery efforts to be buying into any possible talk about his being recovered and “changed” and will do right by you this time around. It’s probably going to take a significant, consistent amount of “straight time” before he can sell that line again, but who’s to say that time won’t come? Eventually he’s going to get tired of his main vice and will probably give it 100%, but you will know when that happens, I suspect. And if you’re still available and still care for him (in a romantic sense), then perhaps it will all work out for the best.

    I’m not sure if that is correct – the statement that addicts have no capacity to feel. It’s probably true that when they’re loaded up on their drug of choice they don’t feel too much. In their sober moments, however, they do – or, rather, many of them do have the capacity to feel. The problem is usually this: Their feelings often are in relation to THEM, e.g., how they feel when someone slights them or criticizes/ridicules them, or doesn’t greet them on the street, or how they have no friends (the “Nobody loves me” syndrome, etc.).
    I remember reading a book about Alcoholism many years ago. This was before all addicts were lumped into the same category; the book differentiated between alcoholics and drug-addicted people, saying that alcoholics tend to be more self centered, as a rule, and that the self centeredness is what causes them to appear to have very shallow feelings, if any at all. The book was saying, in essence, that the alcoholic might not show emotion – or feel emotion – but it’s not because of the alcohol, per se; it’s because of his or her self-absorbed personality.
    Certainly this cannot be a generalization. That would be grossly unfair to alcoholics and chemically-addicted people everywhere. There are always exceptions and we are ALL different, despite the sameness of our disease.
    I wish you the best; and if it’s meant to happen with him, it will — when the time is right.

  • dazedanddistraught

    Thanks Inapew.

    I have been scorned by friends for consistently being a friend to this person.

    I am a person who tries to abide by universal moral laws. What this person has become (on drugs) is against everything that I believe in, and yet when I see something in him — a flicker of hope? A hopeless desire to change? –that is enough to make me want to stand by him and try to help as much as I can.

    I am confused and in a constant state of tug of war in my head. To help or not to help? Is it all a lost cause?

    I guess only time will tell…

  • Patrick

    Dazed, thank you so much for your continuing input on this thread. It sounds like you are making some real progress in how you’re going to handle things from here on out.

    Inapew, thank you so much for jumping in here and offering your insights. I completely relate to your observations about addicts and how they “feel” their feelings….in a very self-centered and self-serving way, usually. But I can truly say that as a using addict, I wanted to change and stop hurting my loved ones, but I was genuinely trapped in the cycle of addiction….I thought I would die if I stopped self-medicating. I knew I was hurting others with my behavior but I could not see a way out. It’s not that I was a selfish and careless person, it’s just that I was trapped in a mode where I could not put anything else above my addiction. My drugs had to come first.

    Thanks to both of your for your comments on this thread. I’m working on a follow up post to incorporate some of your ideas as well.

  • Anonymous

    I know what you mean about the cycle. It’s vicious! People who don’t ‘use’ will find it hard to understand. I know I did. I learnt to though, I had to if I wanted to preserve my sanity. One minute he was in a state of readiness to quit, but the next he just disappears off to god knows where to get a fix. It is CRAZY. It is not that the addict doesn’t mean what he says, but they are simply powerless to resist the call of their addiction. I learned not to take each action as an offense to myself, i am not making excuses for him either, it just is what it is. He is stuck in a rut right now… but in the long run, if he doesnt try as hard as he can to break the cycle (and it is possible! right, patrick?), that just will not suffice.

  • Max Brenner

    Perhaps it’s Serendipity, I will read this over. I want to help someone that has been addicted to Codeine (over the counter bottles of Tylenol compound) for possibly 15-18 years.
    I just found out.
    Do you know how serious this kind of addiction is? Any suggestion?

  • Susan

    My son is an addict. He has been through rehab twice. The second just a little over a month ago. He went because he got married and is going to be a father. He decided yesterday to get messed up again. He is 26 his wife is 23. None of us know what to do. Not only is it him now he has two other lives he is responsible for. He is on probabtion for a possession charge from 1 year ago. But he isn’t getting it. I am at my wits end. He has went through thousands of dollars. Sold everything he can to buy pills. Does anyone have any suggestions. I live five hours away from him. But I don’t seem to do anything but make him angry when I question him. Help

  • Patrick

    Hi there Susan

    Sorry to hear about your son and his struggles. You are in a very common situation though. Perhaps you can find help and support at Al-Anon meetings.

    You say he has been through rehab twice. Of course, there is no magic number, but I “got it” on my third time around through rehab, and that seems to be a common occurrence with addicts. It takes a few tries. So don’t give up hope.

    Being 5 hours away makes it difficult, because every time you communicate it probably seems like you are nagging him. I don’t know how to fix that, other than to say that you should show support and encourage him to get help (which he might take as nagging, I know). There’s just no way around it. Hopefully something will change and a light will go off in his head, and he will ask for help. If he does ask for help, is there a general plan in place? Does his wife know of a treatment center that she can call to possibly get him in? Those might be things to look into.

    Good luck to you and your son, and thanks for your comment.

  • dazedanddistraught

    My friend finally made it into rehab. He got in after months and months of phoning. He hit the bottom really hard, but I hope that was his “turning point”.

    I guess the best way to help an addict really is NOT to help and let them hit their all time low. Just to let them know that you are there, but doing absolutely nothing at all to help them with their situation. THEY have to crawl out of it themselves, for the change to be sincere and done wholeheartedly. Otherwise, they will simply take things/people for granted and continue on with their addiction for as long as they have a means to support it. No matter how small the help, don’t do it. Just step away. The sooner they will wake up and realize that they are this close to losing everything. It’s difficult. It might even sound cruel. But it’s really not. Addiction is a tricky foe, and you have to be strong to play and beat its treacherous game.

    I’m sure this isn’t the end of the road for my friend. I care about him, but I have to protect myself. There are no guarantees with this person, and I will not allow my life to revolve around his life. Not anymore. I guess I’ll be his friend as long as he needs me. To be honest, I don’t know if things will ever go back to the way they were…but who knows these things.

  • Patrick

    Thanks for the update, Dazed. I’m so glad that your friend is getting some help, it might just be a step in the journey, but it definitely sounds positive so far. And also, it sounds like you have made some real growth as well as far as dealing with the situation. Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your new wisdom with us.

  • Annie

    I just came across your site in search for answers in how to help someone whom I care deeply about who has an addiction to pain killers. I met him 2 yrs ago thru an on-line Catholic Match site. I knew about his addiction abou 3 months after meeting him. He has been addicted since 2000. He has also told me that he started getting high at the early age of 14 on one substance or an other. There is a 6 hr distance between us but I have made the effort to travel in his direction because I am single and without many committments. He is divorced and has two teenage children. THru time I have seen what his addiction is doing not only to himself but to his children as well. I recently took my vacation time to visit him earlier this month and cut it short because he decided to order more pills at the cost of $550, and when they weren’t delivered the next day, he wanted me to go to the clinic for him. I told him NO and to never ask me that again. He went up to bed and I decided that I could no longer allow myself to be a part of his addiction. I told him that I could see a future with him, but ONLY if that future were to be without drugs. I, myself have never even smoked pot and do not want drugs to be a part of my life. I have asked him to get help and told him I would be there to support him when and if he should choose to get the professional help he needs. I have not heard from him in over week since I am sure he received my letter stating my boundaries and concerns. I pray daily for him as I know if will only be through my friends willingness to get help and the grace of God that this will take place. I thank you for sharing your thoughts and story and pray for you as well on your own journey. I am open to receiving any comments you may have.

  • Patrick

    Hi Annie

    It sounds to me like you are already making some healthy decisions regarding the relationship. When you told him that you could see a future, but only without the drugs involved, that set a firm limit. Kudos to you for setting that limit, I think it was the right choice.

    Having to live with that choice is another matter entirely. I know it is hard, especially if he doesn’t follow through and get help. But imagine the turmoil you will keep enduring without setting that limit: you would subject yourself to a life of chaos and deception.

    It is easy for me to write these things and commend you for setting a limit. But believe me, I know how devastating that loss can be if he continues to use drugs! I know there is a loss for you either way, and a part of you would rather just stay with him, even if he continued with the drugs.

    I don’t have any magic or wisdom for you. Addiction sucks. I think you’ve made some good choices and you understand how to deal with addiction as well as you possibly can. Good luck to both of you and I hope things eventually work out and he finds sobriety. Just remember to take care of YOU, Annie, regardless of what happens with his sobriety. Prayers for both of you….

  • Anonymous

    My boyfriend of 8 months went into rehab a week ago. He went because he wants to change and and because I think he has finally hit his bottom and is tired of it all.

    He is doing pretty good now. He calls everyday and he says that I inspire him to become a better person but he says he knows what he has to do to get better (treatment) and he knows that he has to do it for himself first of all.

    He says he wants to see me and I am really excited to see him in a better condition. BUT i am not sure seeing him so soon is such a good idea at this time?

    Will my presence be helpful or harmful to his recovery? I want to be there for him, but will a relationship (that has been going on for sometime) be good for someone in rehab?
    If not, When will it be okay to see him again ?

  • Annie

    Patrick – Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I felt compelled this week to write the therapist of my friend. I realize they have patient confidentiality and I do not expect her to get in touch with me. However, I felt she was the only avenue I had left to follow through on my committment in trying to help him see the need for treatment and recovery. I sent it out of love. I had left her a message a fews weeks back when I was so concerned that he was going to take his life. I know that he holds her in high regard and I am hoping that thru my letter, it may do some good. If not, I can only know in my heart that I have done everything possible. In the meantime, it’s been two weeks since I have heard from him. I can only imagine that he had read my email regarding boundaries and is now pulling away from me. Is this a natural reaction? I am not going to give up hope as I truly believe that he has the power within himself to be all that he can be. I have told that many times and am not going to give up on him either. At this time, is it right for me to pull back myself and give him space to think about all that has been said and done? This is what my plans are, but it is so hard as I care deeply for this man. It’s hard not to go a day without shedding a tear over this situation, but as each day goes along I am trying to turn over the whole situation to God and let Him be the one in charge. Please comment when you have a moment.
    Thanks again – Annie

  • Patrick

    Thanks for the update, Annie. You said that he probably got your email and has “pulled away from you” for a bit. I think that is a fairly typical reaction, and it has to do with the internal conflict that the addict is going through. On the one hand he surely loves you and wants to be with you, on the other hand he knows he is “trapped” in addiction and sees that it is hurting you.

    I struggled with this myself, and never could figure out a way to keep abusing drugs without hurting my loved ones in the process. So the natural and easiest thing for the using addict to do is to pull away from them.

    The fact that he pulled away might even be encouraging in from a certain perspective. For me, the next step was to finally reach out and ask for help. Hopefully he is at that point. Keep the faith and good luck to both of you….

  • Patrick

    My answer for the anonymous poster is right here.

  • John

    im 16 and my girlfriend is 15
    im soo emotinally tired of having to constantly worry about her. I dont sleep anymore, i get cranky easy, all day long all i do is worry about her…
    shes a recovering alcoholic, and now shes in councelling, but yet, she is extremely addicted on weed now! Most people think as i did, that its not addictive, BUT it has over taken her life. She can not function without it. She has changed from being the sweetest girl i used to know, to someone i get repulsed by everytime i see her with that ridiculous bong of hers, or how she always lies now to sneak off and get high with her loser friend.
    I try to have serious convos with her, but all i get is her silly giggle, as in she finds everything i say funny.
    Im just soo tired of worrying and i dont know what to do.

  • Patrick

    Hi there John

    Marijuana is a drug, even though some addicts consider it to be a “soft” drug. It really is not. Just because there is no physical withdrawal from it does not mean that weed is not addictive. It can certainly function as a replacement substance, as your girlfriend seems to be using it as one. The problem is that it will never work in the long run, she will eventually revert back to her drug of choice (alcohol in this case) and probably try other substances as well.

    There is not a lot you can do in this case other than set some boundaries. If you’re willing to live with it, then do so. If not, then tell her, and be prepared to walk away if she continues to use. You both are quite young and I would imagine that an ultimatum like that is not going to be the end of her drug use. As a matter of fact, my only real advice for someone so young like that is to encourage her to seek professional help. Good luck to both of you….

  • Anonymous

    i love her way too much to simply walk away just like that.
    Sadly, right after i wrote the above message, i got a call from her… and this time shes with that same loser friend and shes drunk like crazy.
    I always try to get her to seek more help, but its hard. i talk to her grandfather about the situation, but he’s clueless, and in denial. His answer always is.. ” i ask her if shes getting high, and she says NO, so i believe her” !
    I have no clue how to convince him, or make him see im telling the truth.
    I just spoke to him right now also, telling him he NEEDS to go pick her up from the friends house cuz she has been vomiting alot, i told him shes drunk out of her mind.. but… she already called him after i did… and told him shes just feeling “kinda sick” and he seems to believe HER!! SO i really have no clue how to convince him, he lives in his own little world i think

  • http://hlynngail@hotmail.com hlg

    Hi,
    I need help and fast. I am engaged to a man who I now realize it an alcoholic. A very verbally abusive and sometimes physically abusive alcoholic. He drinks about 3 times a week, so I didn’t think of him as an alcoholic at first…just a real jerk every now and then. The nights he doesn’t drink he is very distant and quiet. We not only are supposed to be married but we are opening a business together in 2 weeks which puts me in a huge mess. Somehow he has managed to get me to quit my job, school, take the majority of time away from my kids and he has complete financial control. I am an educated woman who worked in the medical field for over 13 years. I now depend on him for EVERYTHING. He seems to always start a fight with me so he can go drink at our store. I try so hard not to argue with him but he will find the lowest untrue things he can say to really tick me off. I thought I would just ignore him when he does this so now he just leaves and I don’t even know he’s gone until I notcie his truck missing. No matter what I say he would not acknowledge he was an alcoholic. Last week he did finally admit he has to quit drinking because he “doesn’t get much done when he drinks.” Is this a sign that he may be reaching out? If so he is at the store tonight while I sit here crying trying to figure out if I should leave him or support him. we love each other very much and I don’t want to give up but I can’t seem to compete with this rotten disease. He is the very self centered poor me alcholic. I can’t live like this and am not sure how to help him help himself. How do you get a person to see this is happening to them if they don’t want to see?? Is the only choice I have to walk away???

  • kd

    hello. I have been seeing a man for the last 4 years and I do believe he is an alcoholic. we lived together for 3 years and I made him leave because of the drinking and smoking pot. dont get me wrong i’m no angel but I can do without drinking I am more of a social drinker and he always wanted to stay at home and drink. we’ve seen each other off and on the last year and now he has told me he wanted to change and wouldn’t drink so much..he has however quit smoking pot for the last 3 weeks but he still wants to drink almost everyday. he doesn’t have a good job and pretty much jumps from job to job because he didn’t want to quit smoking. he has his CDL class A drivers license which he got when he lived with me a couple of years ago but can’t get a good job because of his past driving record DWI in 2001 and refused to blow in 2003 and trucking companies go back about 10 years. he really is a good person 2 months after I met him I found out I had breast cancer and he stayed with me through all of that but I just can’t take the drinking any longer.

  • Patrick

    My answer for HLG is right here.

  • John

    Hey this is John getting back. Im the 16 year old having problems with my 15 year old gf. Well after 2 years of being together, I insisted she get help, and continued to make sure her Grandpa knew how bad her problem was. Now, over and over she chose to be with her loser friend, and, I told her i cant take it no more. She told me she hates me and she wants NOTHING to do with me no more, saying i BETRAYED her by going to her Grandpa. Im soo depressed right now, i dont know what to do anymore. I FEEL LIKE A LOSER FOR BEING MADLY IN LOVE WITH HER, AND SHE CHOSE ALCOHOL STUPID WEED OVER ME. She’s out there “having fun” and im stuck at home, depressed, and crying because i lost the girl i have loved for 2 years. I’m so lost and confused and i dont know what to do anymore. I know i did the right thing, i think, i just so wanted her to get help. Shes only 15 and has already been in detox and councelling, and almost died a year ago from an od… i didnt want her to go through that agian. Im lost and scared,for her, but also for me. I dont know who i can talk to about this. No one really understands me, or why i love her so much. :(

  • http://trilce_ortiz@yahoo.com sweet

    Hello. Thnx so much for having this site up. I’m writing all the way from Colombia. My boyfriend of a year just went into rehab 5 days ago. He asked for it himself after failed attempts to deal with the addiction (crack) on his own and with the help of a therapist. We’re all really happy he finally decided to go get help. At the same time his family and myself are attending al anon meetings. I love him deeply, he’s a great guy, very smart and kind. We’ve made plans for the future, as long as his whole rehab process goes well. However I’m scare he might relapse (specially here in Colombia where drugs are easy to find and cheap) I also don’t know whether having kids with him would be safe, and whether he’ll ever change his lying-stealing-disappearing patterns for good. Advice?

  • rey

    Thanks so much for this article. I was in a black hole

  • Ann

    Hi,

    I have a son 29 years old who drinks, smoke pots and does heroine. I sent him to live with my family out of state to get him out of his environment.
    He still wont admit he has a bad addiction problem and thinks he can do this on his onw. He also lives with me and thnkins he is moving back in a month. I wont let him. I feel like the last year I have enabled him to do all the wrong things. He only has one class to finish getting his Ba degree in finance. He did serve 4 years in the army and was fine then.

    I know he needs to go to rehab but I just don;t know how to convince him of that.

    I am so lost I really do not know what to do for him.

    Help

  • http://Lost AMBER

    I have been married to my husband for 3 years now, together for 6 years. We have a son that is turning 2 this weekend. I found out a little over 2 years ago that he was addicted to cocaine. He started doing cocaine to get off of oxycottons. I threatened to leave him & take our son away from him if he didn’t get clean. He finally did, after 4 tries of threatening him with that. He’s been clean (or so I think, not so sure anymore) for a year now. I don’t believe a word out of his mouth. I had a strange sickening feeling that he had used this past weekend, so I popped a drug test on him 2 nights ago & he admitted to using. He has grown up with a cocaine using & alcoholic mother. She quit using drugs a long time ago, however she’s been done with alcohol for 2 years now. It took her moving to Fl. & getting away from her family & everyone for her to do this. No one pressured her, she just did it. I however, am a VERY strong headed positive person. I have went to the Al-Anon meetings in the past & attended the meetings where I listen to the addicts & I can’t say anything. I walked out of both meetings furiously crying I was so mad. I feel like it’s life, deal with it, grow up. I honestly felt like they were making excuses for them & I think it’s a crock. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to do the right thing, esp. when you’re a/b to loose the only thing you have left, your wife & kid. I told him he chose the drug over us yet again, so we obviously doesn’t matter. The last time all of this came a/b I actually got a consultation from a lawyer a/b what my rights were. When I relayed this info. to him during a civil conversation, he became very angry, someone I didn’t recognize. I come from a sexually abusive alcoholic step-father & my biological father is a clean alcoholic for many many years now. To live in this type of life, only makes me want to make my life for myself & my son better. Why is he putting us thru the same torture? It’s like he doesn’t realize how bad he’s hurting me. We had a very violent fight last night after our son went to bed & said alot of hateful things. I informed him that I had made him an appt. with a counselor so he could talk to someone. His comment was I don’t have anything to say, I made a mistake, I’m sorry. I’m so sick of those words I could puke. I am SO done, I’m disgusted. My feelings for him are now turning numb. I feel myself slipping away from him & from my past experience w/ my child history, once it’s gone, it will not come back. I am looking for any answers anyone is willing to offer me. How do I not file for divorce? I cannot live like this & will not allow my son to grow up in this lifestyle where I’m constantly questioning his father & wondering a/b him. How long can a person hang on? How many times am I supposed to be able to handle this? I’m so exhausted, I don’t know if I have the energy to fight anymore. Is it already over for me? Should I just walk away?

  • http://Lost AMBER

    He went to his appt. yesterday. I didn’t ask any questions & put any pressure on him. He made another appt. with him too. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to hear that. I thanked him for going & wanted to grab him & hug him, but I didn’t for fear of him thinking everything was ok when it’s still in fact not. He said he really liked him and he seemed to know what he was talking about. This may or may not help him, but him going just shows me that he’s willing to step out of his comfort zone & try to make it right. Please pray for us that this time he’s finally ready to say he’s too weak to handle it on his own.

  • http://jheckmann@gmail.com mia

    I’m so happy to have found this site; it helps to see that I am not alone. I have a question – What can a family do to help a relative who is an addict & lives so far away? My brother in law lives in Colorado and is an alcoholic. He has lost his job, is about to be evicted and will have his car re-possessed. All of this is causing him to drink even more; now he goes for days without answering the phone and we are worried that he may hurt himself. The issue is – we all live in the mid-west and don’t know his friends well enough to ask them to become involved. Also, we have no other family living in CO who could possibly help. Do you have any suggestions for what we can do? We’ve asked him to go to counseling, to come home, to at least check in more frequently but nothing seems to work. He is growing more distant and remote. Any suggestions are welcome!! We are at a loss about what we can do from so far away.

  • His friend

    Thank you, this has helped me, although I am still having trouble with detachment. I will keep at it though!! Long story short, I have a friend who’s been an alcoholic for quite a while, has been in trouble, has been through unsuccessful attempts at rehab, etc. He’s in legal trouble again, his spouse is leaving with the kids, he’s a wreck. I’m trying to be there for him while maintain my sanity. It is so hard. Watching the self-destruction hurts very badly! I pray for him, and all others who are going through this – the addicts as well as those who care so deeply for them. If only love were enough…

  • filled with disgust

    I have a daughter 48 who has been addicted since 19. She is on a 3rd marriage that is about to crash, although he is her enabler. Has 2 kids who want nothing to do with her. She has put everyone around her “just wanting her gone”. I keep thinking this morning how much easier it would be if she would just overdose and die. That way we would be over it. She will “agree” to get help then lie about the appts that she didn’t keep. What a horrible way for a mom to think and feel but what she is doing and has done to her kids there can’t be punishment enough for her. She has overdosed a couple times. We are going to attempt to have her committed because of her dangerous behavior….driving while drunk and under the influence, she no longer bathes, is pulling her own hair out by the roots, is skin and bones and the list goes on and on. I just want it all over

  • Patrick

    Hi there Filled With Disgust

    I appreciate your honesty. Really. It sounds like you have been through quite a nightmare, and I agree that it’s not fair to you. I also agree it’s not fair to the other people in her life.

    But the message of recovery is hope–that anyone can recover. Seriously. You might think that she has burned her last bridge (and maybe she truly has) but there is still hope for her.

    No matter how far down the scale an addict has gone, no matter how low they have stooped, they can still recovery, and their experience can then benefit others. It is possible.

    I’m sorry you’ve had to go through it all. It’s not fair and I know that now. When I first got clean I didn’t know that, but trust me I do now. I’ve said goodbye to too many addicts over the last 7 years.

    Thanks for sharing with us….I have hope for both you and your daughter. Sometimes that’s all we’ve got.

  • Hope

    I found this site tonight and am so grateful. I was in an off and on relationship with a man I love very much. He was an alcoholic, did drugs, and had been in jail a number of times. I did not know how deeply he was addicted until we were seeing each other.

    He never talked about his addictions and would not come around me until he was sober. When he left after seeing me I knew he was going to find something to drink and get high on.

    We never lived together but we always planned to get married someday. He would come by and then disappear. He has lived with other women habitually.

    Eventually he would always come back to see me and tell me he loved me and still wanted to marry me, that I was the only woman he has ever really loved in his life. This went on for years. Finally he ended up in jail again after breaking probation. I visited him until he was shipped to do his full time. We wrote over the course of his prison time.

    When he got out he wanted me to move to the town he had to go back to and I wouldn’t. I knew he was not ready from reading his letters. He was facing himself in prison. He talked about things deep inside him that he never talked about before. I knew it was a beginning but I also knew he was not ready.

    Within six months of getting out, he was living with a woman and then married her. A friend of ours said he was drinking more than he had ever seen him drink and doing drugs. He was fighting and arguing with his new wife right after they got married. He has a year more on probation and has managed to keep a job which is good.

    His wife is trying to recover from alcohol and attends AA meetings.

    We have not been in touch since the first day he got out of jail over a year ago. He didn’t call anymore. We have a mutual friend who lets me know how he’s doing and vice versa.

    He is such a wonderful man, I have always seen this in him. I’ve loved him for more than a decade and pray for him still.

    He promised he would change after getting out of prison but went back to all his old patterns of finding a woman to live with who will put up with his lifestyle, the drinking, drugs and depending on her resources to survive and feel free to do what he wants.

    I never put him down over all the years we were together, but I wouldn’t let him live with me or depend on me for money and an escape.

    I don’t know at what point I realized he stayed away from me to keep from hurting me all these years.

    Now he’s married but I can’t shake the feeling that his marriage is going to end and leave him with worse feelings of worthlessness and failure than he already had. He spoke of wanting to do something with what was left of his life after getting out of prison. He wanted me to fit into the picture he was creating.

    But I knew he was not ready and it would destroy us both. I had to let go. It is painful. I love him and know he loves me. There is nothing I can do.

  • susan

    My H is drinking heavy everyday and smokes a lot of Marijuana too everyday.He dissappear most of the time until I found out now he is stayin with a mama san(whore) who supports him with his vice.I feel he is an alcoholic as he had been drinking since he was 15.He stop five years ago but only for 2 or 3 mos. but smoking is continous. He even went to rehab 10 years ago coz that time he was using heroine. He had been good also for just two months and now no more heroine as far as I know but its alcohol and marijuana daily. I feel that I have to support him and go see a doc for diagnosis. its like he is suferring from depression and his brain is totally affected/ He loves me and his kids and I want our family to become one but he is not willing to change. I just dont know how I can encourage him and when this time will come. As long as he is supported by this whore he is contented. His father pass away that I felt made him worse ,He started to disappear left his job. Although in terms of financial he entrust to me the inheritance he got from his father of which we are now using for daily living. I dont see any sign of him how to build our life normally if he dont have this motivation to work. He dont want me to work either. Please give advice on how I can persuade him to see a doc. I can not even confront him about this disappearnce and living with a whore. All he will reply is that he gives us all everything. But I want him back and I know that he is living with this whore only to fullfill his vice.

  • AJ

    My brother has been in and out of rehabs for the last 2-3 years, and is now homeless. He finally made it thru a 30 day program and is in a sober house and after the first 3 days he did drugs, cocain/Heroin and was suspended form the house, my 2-sister and i have been trying to help him with $ food and clothing, rides… but he just won’t take any responsibility and keeps calling us for help. I’m not sure we are helping at this point I just don’t know the right thing to do? we don’t want him to go back to drugs and feel he will if we don’t help? it was so bad he was robbing people and stealing $ and credit cards. At this point it is affecting all of out lives emotionally and financially, shat should or shouldn’t do, and he keeps saying things like i’d rather have a needle in my arm then live like this and turns everything around and blames everyone. I’m at my wits end and he may be getting kicked out of the house because of $ and I really have not idea what do do… HELP

  • JH

    AJ. I am struggling with a 19 yr old addict who is my daughter. You & your sisters should be taking care of your own selves. Find Nar-anon meetings -they are wonderful support systems. I think that if you can stick to your boundaries – no money, no rides, you decide – that it’ll force your brother to work things out for himself. If he continues to rob & steal, the court system may be what he needs. The next time could be the ‘low’ that he needs to turn his life around.

  • Jay

    To those who will listen… My name’s Jay, I have a 31 yo brother who is addicted to cocaine. He’s hit bottom time and time again. But today he had a seizure in front of my mom and me, was taken to the ER, and still refuses inpatient help. The Dr’s aren’t positive, but they think it was from cocaine withdrawal. On top of addiction, he’s extremely depressed (yeah, they do go hand-in-hand). He has nothing to live for – his girlfriend just broke up with him, he has no job, no money, no friends. He’s stolen and manipulated from my mom and I, had the police called on him multiple times – everything. My mom and I love him so much, but would do absolutely anything for him to get help. Any suggestions? He’s put us through hell and back but witnessing him having a seizure broke our heart and reminded us that he’s close to death. He admits he has a problem but again, refuses inpatient services. His life decisions are ruining our lives. I know I need to get to an Al-Anon meeting. Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Jay

    Sounds like you already know the answer….get to an Al-Anon meeting and get some real help and guidance and support from the people there. That should be your first step.

    Above and beyond that, really your only option at this point is to offer help to your brother and let him know that you are willing to help him when he is ready to change.

    Good luck with everything…prayers for both of you.

  • Ashley

    Patrick-
    My boyfriend and I are both in college, and my boyfriend’s mother is addicted to pot, and I’m pretty sure alcohol, too. She is fully functional, and I’m sure she sees no problem with her addiction because it has caused her no problems thus far. However, my boyfriend and his sister are so deeply upset by it and hurt so much. His sister lives at home with his mom and calls him crying, telling him she found another bag of pot, or found her passed out on their kitchen floor in the middle of the night. Every time they ‘catch’ her, she says she’ll change, but she never does. She seems to be a compulsive liar as well (not jsut about her addictions- about many things, even the most trivial.)

    My boyfriend has gone to AA meetings before with an old friend of his that was an alcoholic, but he still seems to be so hurt and does not know what to do about his mom. He comes to me upset, and I feel SO helpless, and I never know what to say to make him feel any better about the situation. I don’t know what to do or what advice I could give him to make him hurt less. He avoids going home at all costs because his mom never ceases to hurt him somehow (always emotionally).

    What advice can I give him? What could he and his sister do? They’ve expressed their feelings so many times, and she seems to care, but just doesn’t stop. She never says that she’ll get help, only that she’ll do it less (but she doesn’t). She doesn’t take it seriously at all because she doesn’t think anything bad is coming from it, but her kids are so stressed and hurt constantly.

    What can I suggest? Or what could I say to him to help? It pains me to see him so hurt by his own mother. I feel so helpless and stuck, and just want to help take his pain away. Please help? Any suggestion or comment back would be greatly appreciated…

  • http://aleksandrinsurance.blogspot.com Mary

    Well said.

  • Cathy

    We have a young man who lived with us in foster care and my husband became his big brother. He called last night and has fallen back into cocain and is living in an area where the drug dealer is slashing his tires. He wants to come stay here. I am scared of the drug dealers and what this will mean to our safety. What should we do to help and where can he get help?

  • Tina

    Im a single mom of two, i met a wonderful man, after time passes in our wonderful relationship i find out he is an opioid user, injecting himself. Yes i was blind to it. But it was to late i allready fell hard in love for him, but then things got bad, very bad! All the lies all the hurt he caused me. In short i said goodbye to him, never once stopped loving him though. He didnt want to leave me, but detox and rehab had allready been done and he was useing again, so i had no choice no matter how hard it was but to say goodbye, and i did. Its been about six months apart from him, and he called me. He wants me back he says he doesnt want the drug life anymore, he says he allready has it set up to do detox then rehab again, then he is telling me he is going to a long term care facility, then comming to get me and win me back. I want this so much but how do i know this is all true that he tells me how do i trust him when i have been through this before. After six months apart i saw him and we spent a day together and i didnt want to let him go but i had to, im scared i am going to be hurt again and to do this with him im scared . I want to but should I? I cant get over him, and its been six months, am i stupid to trust he wants to get better and have a life with me and my children?

  • Patrick

    @ Tina- Time is your ally in this case. If he is going to long term treatment then that is a powerful commitment and if he sticks with it then you can ease back into things slowly, right? If he is in a long term program then that will limit the extent of your relationship for a little while, give you both some healthy space and allow him room to grow as a person.

    I really believe that if he is too close to you at first that he will not grow and progress in his recovery as much as if there is some distance there.

  • dazed and distraught

    It has been 5 months since I last wrote. In those months, he went to rehab and things started looking up. I’m writing now, because as you might have guessed, he relapsed again. He got high on crack and then started drinking again. He still has the desire to stop, but claims that it is beyond him… He is obssessed about using and is powerless to do anything about it. I don’t understand how the program could have failed him? He had all the support he needed from his parents, myself, the rehab centre that he went to. What went wrong? He had made it up to Step 5. Why didn’t the obssession go away? Will it ever go away? This is his 8th rehab. I see him hurting whenever he f**s up, he really wants to change..so why can’t he do so? I’ve seen him when he was clean – so disciplined and meticulous…he was so different it’s like he transforms into a monster on drugs.Is there hope for him? I want to support him, but is it worth it?? Will this ever end? Or is it best to get out of this vicious cycle.
    Any insight from alcoholic-addicts out there?

  • Patrick

    Hi Dazed

    I wish I had the answers for you but I’m afraid none of us have a crystal ball. If you listen to the stories out there of people with significant clean time many of them will tell you of how they struggled on for years and years with relapses, sometimes getting several years clean and then relapsing, then a few more years and then relapsing….just a long and sad pattern that they went through before they finally “got it.”

    And of course some never “get it.”

    Unfortunately there is no way to predict who is going to achieve long term sobriety and who will fail. It’s not real fair to those like you, I know.

    You have to do some soul searching and decide if you want to stick by him or not. Sometimes even the best people are the sickest addicts. I wish I had more wisdom for you. You should pray about it and seek help locally for your answers on this…..

  • Kris

    I’ve recently come back into the life of someone I was very close to years ago. He has had a dependancy on pain medications and alcohol for years before I came back into his life. 4 years ago he admitted himself to a treatment facility where he became sober until a few days ago and now he’s back to drinking. We both though how wonderful it was that we were back in each other’s lives and now that we’re both divorced we may be able to start something new for ourselves. He felt peace with me and I could see that in his eyes. I don’t know what caused him to relapse but now he says I should let go of him because this is the existence he chose and doesn’t want to subject anyone else to his hell. That’s how he put it. I know underneath the hurt that he is a good man, very loving, trustworthy and caring. He is dealing with the anger of his kids who range in age from 22 down to 15 (the anger especially from the 15 year old). I feel that he has so much guilt that he feels he deserves the life of pain he’s chosen for himself so has reverted back to drinking. I have let him know several times that I will support him and that everyone deserves to be happy if they are willing to turn their life around. No matter how low of a point one is in their life as long as they take one step at a time to move up from that then they move their life in a positive direction. I have told him these things and that kids will adjust eventually to divorce, you just have to keep reminding them how much you love them and understand their anger even if you can’t relate to the pain their going through if you haven’t had divorced parents. I really saw potential in us but right now he seems to want to fall back into the “comfortable” life he had numbing the pain.

    I am thinking of trying to contact his parents even though he said they’ve been done with him long ago. I have a 20 year old son myself and if he were hurting no matter how disappointed I was with his life I’d want to help. Should I try to go this route? Also, should I contiually send a message to him just saying that I’m here whenever you feel like you’re ready for recovery again or will that be pushing myself on him too much? You suggest in your article to attend al-anon meetings. I’ve asked him if I could attend but at the time he said he’d rather not. Should I attend on my own to get a better understanding or wait to see if or when he’d want me back in his life?

    Thank you

  • Kris

    To clarify the last part of my post, I’ve asked him if I can attend AA meetings with him, he’s been going for 4 years, but he said he’d rather not have me attend with him.

  • Michelle41NJ

    I think this is the best site on addiction I have found.. everyone is so NON judgmental.. what a breath of fresh air.

    I find myself living a life thats sureal to me, to say the least. I met Rob last Jan 15th.. via a work appt w/ a client. He was out with them because he divorce was final that day. Having ended a 20 year marriage 2 years ago I never would date someone just out of a marriage. But I liked him.. there was something about him, like a lost puppy that needed a friend. I knew he “liked” me but I was very clear that I was not interested for many reasons.. the more I got to know him the more I knew something wasnt right. This will be way too long of a post if I go into everything but I will fast forward to March. I was down at his house which is 2 hours from my home and blew 3 disks in my neck. He took me to the hospital where I had my neck fused from C4-C7. I was a freaking mess.. I was all jacked up on pain medication and in more pain than I could stand. I had to stay down there because my neruo surgeon was there and also I couldn’t drive 2 hours home. I started to see things why I was staying with him, but he assured me i was just “seeing things”. Well as I healed and stopped my medication I KNEW what I was seeing was right. I found out Rob was a 18 year coke user, alcoholic, smoker, didn’t have a valid drivers license in 18 years, arrested 30 times, his mother paid his mortgage, while married to his ex wife they did coke, drank and smoked daily while she was pregnant with his son. I left and told him never to contact me again.. He couldnt let me go.. he was sick obsessed in love or whatever you want to call it.. Well I am home one month and find out I’m pregnant.. which in itself is unreal being I’m supposed to be infertile, my other children was fertility drug babies, and I had 5 miscarriages and I’m 41. How can this be???? I called him, of course he thought this was the best thing in the world… all I kept thinking is this guy went through 10,000 dollars of my money when I stayed with him, broke my car, lied and used me. AND HE’S AN ADDICT!!! And here I am pregnant.. not able to work, no money and just trying to get my life together after the devastating end of my 20 year marriage. I was very close to terminating the pregnancy because I found out so early on, but he kept calling me a baby killer, and totally messed with my mind. I decided once I was going to keep the baby to “fix” him. . I was VERY cocky and native to think I had that kind of power. I’ve never in my life known someone with this kind of addiction. He lied and made empty promises. He is so emotionally and verbally abusive I couldnt stand it. He lied and manipulated me. I had moved in with him for 2 months. One day when he was at work I went on my computer and found he downloaded some really wack porn.. seems he has a balloon fetish. Ive never heard such a thing.. there were all these videos of girls blowing up balloons. But what really freaked me out was a few thumbnails I saw of kids blowing up beachballs and stuff.. I paid a taxi 300.00 to take me home. I was heart sick and realized he is in need of help… more than I could offer. When we spoke I told him what I found, he of course freaked out at me, its my fault shouldnt have looked blah blah blah… I told him he needs to go to meetings, therapy and get rid of the scumbags he calls friends. He started going to meetings.. and was doing really well. I refused to move back, he still wasnt doing the therapy or getting rid of the friends.. then a 6 weeks ago all hell broke loose… he calls me from the city and tells me he was going to buy drugs and changed his mind and got into a fight with a guy when he wouldnt buy and the cops where there, then he said that didnt happen he wanted me to feel bad for him, then 2 weeks later he calls me drunk at the train station and tells me he is going to jump because he cant have me.. I was a mess.. then last Sunday night (2 weeks ago) hes calling me and ends up at one of his drug friends houses. He would call and hang up .. then send me photos of where he was.. I cannot tell you how heartsick and worried I was.. see I knew where he was because he has one of my cell phones and I know who he talks to and can see the time he talks and makes calls. Everything exploded. I am tired of being a baby sitter, being verbally abused.. My pregnancy is VERY high risk, I am on bed rest. I am going to have to have a blood transfusion, hysterectomy and will lose up to 50 percent of my intestines during my c section. I am at my witts end.. He keeps blaming me on his using because I wont be with him. I can’t live a life like this.. I don’t deserve this nor does this baby. I don’t know what to do.. I do love him in some weird way but he is so not my type. I don’t know how I will ever trust him or anyone else for that matter. I can’t go to Al Anon meetings because I’m stuck in bed. How much brain damage does one have from 18 years of drug abuse? He had a horrible childhood and the worst self esteem I’ve ever seen.. I really wanted to help him.. but it’s beyond my means… thanks so much and God bless all of you..

  • Patrick

    Wow that is quite a story there Michelle, sounds like you have had quite a ride with this guy. I know that’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to your baby. I hope things can somehow work out for you, and I would encourage you to find some local resources that can give you professional help in some capacity. Good luck to you.

  • Anonymous

    I just don’t know what to do.. I am dying a little more each day from the inside out.. this poor baby does not deserve this

  • Anonymous

    I am working with Alanon but I cant go to the meetings so we talk via the phone and they are trying to put together a meeting to come to my house

  • Tami Bradley

    I have a 21 year old daughter that is addicted to oxycontin. She was clean for a year but when her boyfriend broke up with her she started using again. She said she doesn’t care about herself and wants to die. After reading your articles and postings, I realize that I need to stop saving her by picking up all the peices she leaves in her destructive wake. As hard as it is, I need to let go and let her suffer the consequences of her actions. I know I need to let her hit bottom, but how does a mother do that knowing that bottom could be death? She still lives in our home, so I’m thinking of giving her an ultamatum that either she gets clean or she needs to move. Any thoughts?

  • Patrick

    Hi there Tami….no easy answer for you, I’m afraid, as doing the “tough love” approach has probably killed a few addicts over the years.

    But on the other hand, not doing the “tough love” thing has probably killed even more. So it is not an easy situation by any means and you can’t play the “what if” game with yourself… the answer is to get help yourself and then behave in the best way you know how so that you are not enabling her. This might mean setting the boundaries and limits that you are talking about eventually and saying either she needs to get help or get out. This might not be unreasonable depending on your situation. Best is to get to some local Al-Anon meetings and get some feedback with these types of decisions. Good luck to you and your daughter at any rate and God bless.

  • Tami

    Thank you Patrick. I’m going to an Al Anon meeting tomorrow evening. We have decided to tell our daughter that if she wants to continue to live here, she will submit to random drug tests. If she passes, great! If she doesn’t, she needs to move immediately. She will also have to relinquish her car that we co-signed for. She has been through treatment and knows what it takes to get and stay clean. I’m hoping having a roof over her head and a car is more important to her than drugs. I guess we’ll see. I would love to hear from other moms with children addicted to Oxycontin. It is an epidemic in my town. It would be great to be able to support each other and share ideas. Again thank you all for letting me vent. I’ll keep you posted.

  • http://www.spiritualriver.com/how-can-i-help-an-alcoholic=or-drug-addict-specific-things-you-can-do-to-help/ Amy

    I have a 32 year old twin brother who has an alcohol and drug (pot) addiction since he was 16 years old. I want to help him but he says that life is no good without alcohol and drugs. He says he is not ready to give it up yet. I’m scared that he will die at a young age because of it. He’s pretty frail for his age and size. I know that some of his addiction is from the lack of parental guidance and attention that we grew up in, so it is psychological too. I’ve asked him to go to AA meetings and offered to go along for support but he refuses. I suggested for hime to read some information about alcoholism in his private time but he just laughs and says he doesn’t need it though he admits he’s an alocholic. He’s a very sweet and caring person when he’s sober but becomes a different person entirely when he’s drunk. I learned a lot from this site and I’m glad I found it. I’ll take and apply the steps listed. Thanks for listening.

  • Beth

    Good job for 30yrs, reliable, educated, intelligent, thoughtful, kind… his family adores him. He lied that he was a social drinker and after I fell in love with him he tells me drinks too much and now drinks heavily almost every night. Now he wants to end the relationship, saying that it’s too hard on me, after I realized that he’s an alcoholic and started setting boundries. He admires others, he says, who make their loved ones get help and then tells me to go away. I feel guilty when I think about standing by and doing nothing, yet I know there is little that I can really do. I believe that he wants me out of his way and at the same time doesn’t want to be alone and unloved and I believe that he loves me and wants me to be a part of his life. He wants me to make him stop his behaviors and coaches me on how. I feel responsible for knowing and not telling. I feel I’m a part of his destruction by staying in his life. I love him and don’t want to go, but feel that I must. Maybe leaving is the only want to help. Any professionals out there who really know how to help these wonderful, yet self destructive people who are hell bent on killing themselves with alcohol and how to help those who stay to help them stay healthy.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Beth

    To me it is a little bit twisted that he is angry that you are not pushing him more to change his behavior. In fact, that is really messed up. I believe they refer to this as being passive-aggressive. Very destructive mindset and I don’t think you deserve to be scorned because he is a drunk. That makes no sense at all.

    My thought on this is that you need to stand up for yourself and basically say “hey, I love you, and I want to see you get better. But nagging you or pushing you to change is NOT really MY responsibility….it is YOUR responsibility.” The fact that he is sort of shifting the blame on to you for HIS drinking is really quite disturbing. I would put my foot down at that and stand up for yourself.

  • carilynn

    My son is 23. He was in a rehab over 2 yrs ago for heroin. Since he has relapsed 5-7 times? He also drinks, and smokes pot. I think he just detoxed himself last weekend. What a mess. I talk to him about getting help, and he says he doesnt have a problem…Just smokes sometimes…i tell him he is only lying to himself, as we can all see the truth. After reading this site, it is what I learned while he was in rehab. Only the addict can get help, and it will only work if they WANT it. I want it for him, just to see him move on in life. He still lives at home, he has to take a drug test, and I told him back on Dec 15 that he had 1 month, and if he doesnt pass he has to move out. This will be the hardest thing…Any advice from anyone? He is very immature.

  • http://ON Rachelle

    Dear CRILYN,I have a boyfriend who is an addict of pot and i can say that i know it’s not fair others have to suffer b/c of an addiction. The worst part is that they don’t even realize how much you love and care for them, and how much pain they really cause you. I beleive the best thing to do is to just continue to encourage them to change. Let them know ur there for them as well, and make sure they feel loved. Getting away for awhile can also help, it worked on my boyfriend when we spent a week in a hotel/skii centre in Deerhearst up north. He got to spend time with me, get his mind off drugs and tried something new, which he loves now.. All i can say is if you kick him out, he’ll feel like you don’t care at all. Remember that drugs can sometimes change a person a LOT, they may say things they don’t really mean deep inside. Hope and Faith is what i held on to, and praying to God:)do what you honestly feel is the Best thing, and u won’t regret it<3 ur not alone

  • carilynn

    Rachelle. Thanks. There are so many sides on this topic…I have gone to alanon, and heard so many share their stories…But I still feel it is VERY different when it’s your child. I wish he wanted to change, but he says he doesnt have a problem. I encourage treatment all the time. And we just got back from being up north on a ski trip with family. He was “sick” the whole time. But my husband (his dad) and I both knew he was detoxing from heroin…again. Tonight is the night I was to kick him out. He has a bad headache. My younger son who is 18, is also sick of it. I have also been told it is very bad, to say something and then not follow through. My younger son was here tonight and kept asking if tonight is the night? This is so hard. I keep thinking I should give him an ultimatum, but then I know rehab only works if THEY want it…I have been praying and asking God for guidance for so long, and I still dont know what to do. Thanks again.

  • Al’s wife

    Wow!!! I feel so alone. My husband is the addict and he is out on the streets again. I am torn with whether to go get him AGAIN or just let him stay out there. Where we live, the winter temps are in the teens. Surely any human would want to be in from the cold. I sometimes feel that he is not human. We have a beautiful family, but he opts to come and go. It is so frustrating. I hate being here alone. We have no family where we live and family does not know what I am going through. It is tremendously difficult to keep going like this. I need a quick answer to this question about what to do. I am so afraid—-really afraid.

  • carilynn

    Al Wife, Im so sorry for you and your family. I know its easier to say than do…but, we can only be here for our loved ones when they want to get help. They have to want it. I want my son to get help more than he does..he doesnt even think he has a problem. I had to ask him to leave last night, and of course he didnt want to.The hardest thing I had to do in a long time. I have asked him to leave before, but told him he could come home, only because I was scared for him. This time I have to let go and let GOD. Believe me its easier said than done! Go rent your favorite movie, take a hot bath, and above all pray. Pray that God will bring wisdom to your husband and strength to both of you. I feel like crying all the time, but when I do I have to remember that these are CHOICES they have made. We never made them do anything. And life has to go on for you. Do you have children? If so are they still at home? Life for all of you is the farthest thing from normal, but you have to show them that it will go on. Sometimes it feels like I cant, but I have to for my younger son. He is watching all of the time, and absorbing it all in. Sorry you dont have family close, I also have no one close. But I have confided in my brothers. They are only a phone call away. I hated telling them, but it felt so good to tell someone that cares about me! Also this is life..And right now my life feels upside down, but I know this too shall pass. Good luck to you. I will check on here later, if you need anything.

  • Laura V

    Im 25 years old but my boyfriend is 40. We were best friends for about a year, we met at our jobs at the hospital. we’ve been sleeping together for about 2 months though and we fell in love pretty quick.

    He told me he has a drinking problem and I didn’t take it seriously but I started to notice that he wants to drink almost all the time when he’s off of work and when I come over. He drinks over long periods of time like 18 hours straight and after like 6 hours he starts to yell and get rowdy. Never violent but rowdy none the less.

    He has stomach pains and when I come over I can’t go to sleep because he is being drunk and rowdy and won’t go to bed. I noticed his family is always concerned about his drinking which tells me I should be concerned too.

    Problem is I smoke pot and am pretty prone to substance abuse myself. He has asked me to tell him to stop drinking. He says he can’t stop unless someone makes him. I know he wants my help and we love each other so much I just don’t know what to do because this is my first real relationship with a guy and he’s 15 years older then me.

    He’s never been married and he has no children so I don’t have any of his previouse relationships to help me figure this out. He’s asked me for help but then he turns around and says he wants to drink on special ocasions.

    could someone help me out here I’m pretty young and inexperianced with this. My sister is a recovering crack addict but I was never around her when she was doing drugs so im not sure how to handle this.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Laura

    The whole thing with “he has asked me to tell him to stop drinking”…that is really messed up and cannot possibly work out in any good way.

    If he quits drinking for you then he has not truly quit. He can only stop for himself.

    And I can tell you from experience that if you are still smoking pot and he tries to give up the booze, he will secretly resent your smoking and he will eventually drink.

    Every addict is different but for me, smoking pot is just another dangerous drug and it will ruin my life just as bad as Cocaine or Alcohol or whatever. The reason for this is because it allows me to escape my feelings and eventually I will revert to my drug of choice (which is alcohol). So I know for me that I can not possibly smoke pot without destroying my life again. It will lead me back to the booze.

    In the same way, be cautious of your boyfriend trying to substitute one drug for another (yes alcohol is a drug). If he tries to quit drinking and starts smoking with you, things are headed for trouble.

    I don’t see him quitting if you are still smoking. I know that seems weird and unfair but I think that’s how it will go for you. You might consider the idea of quitting yourself if you really want to see him get sober.

    At any rate good luck to both of you.

  • carilynn

    Patrick,
    Can you please tell me the type of rehab this site says is the best for drug addiction? I wrote in about my son. He is 23. Smokes pot every chance, drinks, and his drug of choice is heroin. He was in a rehab 2 yrs ago, and relapsed many times since. I’m at my wits end. I asked him to leave Thursday, but he has been around here and there. Says he is hungry. Slept on the couch from 7-10 this am. As he said he was cold. He has been sleeping in his truck in front of the house. Any advice I would appreciate. Please help? Do you know anything about “Smart Recovery”? I came upon the site, and wanted to see if you have any input. Thanks for anything, Carilynn

  • Patrick

    Hi there Carilynn

    I personally do not think any particular rehab has a significant edge over the others.

    Seriously. I don’t care if it costs 30 thousand per month (some do, and even more). Those places have identical success rates to the regular “average” rehab facilities.

    Different treatment philosophies don’t matter either. Statistically, some studies give a slight edge to 12 step recovery, but not enough to be statistically significant (in other words, no provable difference).

    You will find that 90 percent of the treatment industry is 12 step based. I take issue with some of their ideas, but the support you get there will be better than anywhere else (because the 12 step model is so widespread). So it makes sense to me to go ahead and roll with the punches and use the widespread support that 12 step recovery offers.

    Just know that recovery can and does exist outside the boundaries of traditional 12 step recovery. Good luck to you and your son.

  • StressedAndDepressed

    I need help pretty quickly. My 21 year old daughter is married with 3 yr. old twins. She is addicted to Methadone and darn near any other pain med she can get her hands on. Her doctor prescribed the Methadone for her chronic pain around 2 years ago, but has begun weaning her off of it – replacing it with Lyrica. My daughter isn’t handling it well. She will buy or steal pain meds at every turn. She’s also begun drinking. I believe she’s been an “on again/off again” addict for years, now.
    Her husband is taking the kids and leaving her. Right now they live with my parents, but they’ve been told that if one leaves, they all leave. She isn’t welcome where he is going so he’s been trying to call me to see if she can come live with us. My fiance and I live about 70 miles away.
    First, convincing her to come here is gonna be a feat on its own. Second, is it a good idea? There are no prescription medications here for her to steal, any alcohol that is here can be easily dumped and access to people she can buy from would be severely limited. My hope is to help her get through the withdrawals and possibly even help her see she needs professional help.
    I am scared because she is a master manipulator (especially with me), she has stolen before and at her addictions height – she is unpredictable.
    Even if my parents said she could stay, I wouldn’t want her to. My mom is terminal and takes a LOT of medications. My daughter has stolen from her before. Remorse comes much later. Addiction comes first. Even before her twins.
    I’m sorry this is so dis-jointed. So much to say – but trying to cover the crucial areas.
    I’m anxious to read your e-book but have to wait for a new post.
    I guess my most pressing question is – should I take her in? If so, do I set harsh boundaries? What should I expect of her? I’m lost and scared and truly heartbroken over this. Please help.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Stressed and Depressed

    The big question at hand is: Should you take her in?

    Now I can’t say yes or no one way or the other, that is a tough decision for anyone and you are gonna have to weigh your options. But consider the following when you weigh your decision:

    1) How much time, effort, and energy are you going to have to spend YOURSELF if you take her in? Do you have other responsibilities and obligations? Kids, job, other family to attend to, etc.? It is not right to sacrifice yourself if bringing her into your home is going to be too disruptive to you.

    2) Are there alternatives, especially treatment? If you can find a local treatment center that will take her in, that should be your answer right there. If she is unwilling to go to treatment then I would NOT bring her into my home. This is simply more manipulation. If she is ready to change then she will be willing to do treatment. If not, then she is not finished using yet and trying to help her is probably a mistake.

    3) Bottom line, IF you agree to help her in any way, it has to be on YOUR terms only. If she is trying to hedge or gain certain favors, then all your efforts are for nothing because she will not be ready to make a real change in her life.

    That is just my quick opinion of course, best case scenario is to get her into treatment somewhere (easier said then done, I know). Good luck to both of you….

  • lynda dods

    addicts and ex addicts all seem to have one thing in common: they are all totally self involved. so what if you got depressed when giving up? what do you think about the depression people around you have been suffering for years dealing with your stupid embarrassing behaviour, your lack of support, your drain on family finances which have basucally been pouring down a ointless bottomless pit for x amount of years? It just goes to show you cant teach someone compassion or empathy for others. Maybe thats the missing gene in addictive personalities.

  • http://Sira.allie@gmail.com Anonymous

    Im so sad,i feel distant frm my life,i live it in a daze.i pray mst of my day until my thoughts wonder and i think back…my mum remaried 9yrs ago to a guy who drinks,smokes marijuana and anything else that hs friends does,she sumhow got addicted 2 rocks which i found out about 4 mnths ago.my 32yr old sister was a prostitute, sumhow got addicted 2 tik and alcohol about a 3yrs ago,she was in and out of rehab last year finaly stayed clean for 7mnths got a good job then relapsed 2 days ago with alcohol.she wanted 2 stay with me for 2 days as that is her rehabs rule if u relapse they kick u out 4 two days then u hv 2 compl asignments and hv 2 write a motivational letter 2 say why they shuld take u back,ths caused more harm than good…i culd nt take her with me as my inlaws do nt knw about her being in rehab and i dnt want them 2 knw,im ashamed,i was scared her behaviour,or sumthing she wuld say wuld gv them a sign that she uses ,she also smelled like alcohol i culdnt bring her here,nw that she started tik again i feel guilty,why culd i nt just hv lied and said she is sick or sumthing she wuld nt hav used tik again,im filled with remorse,as i blame myself.my younger sister,23yr old, uses tik aswel she stays clean mnths then does it again,she says bcause she is bored,she is unemployed and has stayed clean 4 one mnth,without rehab,she insist she does nt need help but has becum a shel,has no self confidence,thinks she ugly,gets puzled al the time,ds nt talk much and feels sad constantly, until my older sister supplied her wen she relapsed,i warned my older sister if she suplies my younger sister i wuld cut her out of my life,she gv her drugs that very same day.i hv also found out my 17yr old brother is smoking marajuana.my mum claims 2 hv stoped,she is very edgy anything minor upsets her,without rehab but i dnt knw if she has,i just trust that she has.problem is they al live in one house,i stay with my inlaws whom dnt knw a thing about my familys addictions,i hv a supporting husband and kids,thank GOD 4 that.but my families addictions is starting 2 realy scare me as 2 what if 1 of them dies,i luv them al so much,i go to them every frid, sat and sunday and during the week….hw do i show tough luv 2 my mum the 1 who raised me,my darling sisters who were always by my side and my adorable caring brother who we almst lost as a baby 2 chronic asthma.is there any free rehabs in cape town?

  • Patrick

    @ Lynda – If you were involved in the fellowships of recovery you would see that there is no lack of empathy going on…it is something deeper that breaks inside of the addict. Many addicts are very caring people even though their behavior in addiction can be extremely selfish. There are no excuses of course, but you would be amazed if you got to know some people who are truly working a program of recovery.

    @ Anonymous – rehab is never free but sometimes it can be funded by the state or by government agencies. This will depend on where you live and also what your insurance and financial situation is. Some people CAN go to rehab with no insurance and no money and do it on a grant through state monies. Call up all your local rehabs and talk to them and get the info…this is how to start the process of healing. Good luck to you and your family….

  • Judy

    Patrick, my 31 yr. old son lives 2000 miles away and even though has a good job, finally realized he needed help with his alcohol addiction. I called the AA hot line and asked many questions and they directed me to have him call and he is now in a 28 day rehab,the problem is he calls and blames me for not helping him solve his future job,money, bills etc. problems..I have no way of knowing how to solve HIS problems and realize I need to detach and that he needs to do all these things himself. How does one know when the love stops and the enabling begins? I cannot financially pay his upcoming bills, he made way more money than I and he is constantly lying, in fact I have begun to know that most of what he says is a lie…I am deciding to not take his calls because he gets in such a state that he just yells and becomes irrational to me. I have told him I wont talk to him when he starts talking about relapsing, he is only 14 days into rehab, and then I tell him I love him and hangup…my head tells me I am detaching and making boundries, but the mom in my heart worries so about him. I just pray in the next two weeks he begins to “see the light” or he will not get it and then he will lose his job, place to live etc. As a recovering person, Patrick, do you feel it is best to detach from a loved one and thus make them face their fate basically alone? Thankyou for your great site and advice.

  • Katie

    Patrick, my brother is a drug-addict. He went to rehab about 9 months ago and was kicked out for using drugs in rehab. Now it seems that he has his life back in order. He finally has a job and he is no longer living with my parents. I have a feeling that he is still using because he is very manipulative and very much into himself. My parents are constantly getting angry with me because I don’t believe that everything is back to normal. I feel like they should not trust him yet. They do a lot for him too, like picking him up and taking him places, letting him come over when they are not home, letting him always do his laundry here, and eat here almost everyday. They really feel like they are helping him and I am not so sure. I feel like he should be doing all of these things without any help, and I feel like there should be rules and boundaries while he is at their house. What do you think? If he is clean is it still okay?

  • Patrick

    @ Judy – It sounds like he is going to be worked up regardless of what you do. It’s a tough time for him, period. I think you are correct that he is going to have to find his own path through this, and your sending him money is not the answer. Hopefully a light will click on for him in rehab and he will calm down and do what he has to do to stay clean. If not, maybe this is a step on his path towards sobriety. Most people I talk with have had to go to treatment a couple of times before they “got it.” Don’t give up hope.

    @ Katie – Well I guess that is a trust issue, and over time, if he stays clean, it will resolve itself because you will trust him more and more. But if it is still early then you might be right to be cautious. I would try to be supportive of him while still nudging him towards independence in some way.

  • Darcy

    Hi,
    I have a son who is 24. About 4 years ago he went to Teen Challenge and God did an absolutely miraculous work. He also gave him a dream job. the man he worked for recently got cancer and died. This was too much for our son to handle and he began using again. this summer his father and I had to kick him out of the house. He was here this past weekend and I noticed how skinny he has become. His brother told me of some disturbing information and also set boundaries for his brother. He chose to leave there. I am very afraid his life is at risk! I am having a difficulty sleeping and can’t get him off my mind. He lies and tells us there is no problem. How would you advise me?
    Thank you!!!!
    Darcy

  • i

    hi, my boyfriend of 8 years was introduced to cocaine a few years ago by someone he worked with. since then he drinks almost everyday and uses occasionally. his excuse is it keeps him awake(when he drinks) we have a small child and i am very uncomfortable with this situation. i told his mother but she is unable to help. i am so angry i almost called his boss. what if i did? besides going to Al-anon what is the right thing to do?

  • Patrick

    @ Darcy – I have heard of Teen Challenge but the people I have spoke with have never really talked highly of it. Of course I am sure that it works for some. You might encourage a halfway house or more traditional recovery routes like 12 step meetings too. You can’t force anyone to do anything, as I’m sure you know by now. Pray and offer to help him with treatment.

    @ I – I don’t think I would call his boss, that could create HUGE resentment and drama that could seriously escalate your problems. And I don’t think you should threaten to do so either. (Never make hollow threats that you do not intend to keep).

    What you should do is carefully consider your boundaries. Then get to a position where you can enforce them. This is easier said then done and that is why you need SUPPORT. That is why I suggest Al-Anon. Without this support you are struggling against yourself in a way. Find a way to get help for yourself and this can give you the strength to act with confidence regarding your relationship problems.

  • Anonymous

    I have been married to an addict for a little over a year. There have been periods of sobriety throughout our relationship, but it never lasts. He always falls back into it. I will not deny that I have been enableing at times. I have never been ok or supportive of his behavior, but I would choose to drive him if he was drunk to get what he wants instead of sending him loose to kill himself or someone else. He has been sober 40 days today, but he is so depressed. When I ask him about what makes him really happy it is always partying and drugs. We are unconnected and it is really hard. His addiction is VERY severe, but he doesn’t believe he had a “problem” until I came along. Basically he was single for a long time and he would go out and drink and do hard drugs all the time just running wild. I do not do either. There was a very bad situation that happened when he was all messed up and I almost left him. He always blames me for his bad behavior when under the influence because I wont get all messed up with him and be on the same level. That is his excuse for him abusing me… I don’t do drugs WITH him.
    I am so depressed myself because I cannot do anything to make him happy or help ease his struggle. I just don’t know what to do but I see this marriage ending if he doesn’t change. I love him so much and he goes as far as saying he wants me to leave and our marriage was a mistake almost every time he starts getting tempted. The funny thing is, when he does give in and do something then he says he loves me blah blah blah…. and I stay. Needless to say the situation is way worse than I have described here and I am just torn. I have been hoping that he would just snap out of this and be ok, but now I am thinking that’s not going to happen. I am so afraid because he never sees a “future”. He is just obsessed with moving to a big city (we live in a very small town). I would like to move too, but I am so scared that once we do he is just going to start running around wild all the time. He’s already almost cheated on me several times, gotten physical, and has been very emotionally/verbally abusive under the influence and under the stress of sobriety….
    I guess I just have no idea what the next step is because I am pretty much just “living” here. Married but totally unconnected and struggling to find happiness…. Ordinarily I am so happy and optimistic, but not I just feel empty…

  • Amber

    I’m in a tough spot. Someone I truly care about does a serious amount of coke daily. IDK how to help. I’ve tried telling him he’s hurting me. Doesn’t stop. Tried Telling him I care. Doesn’t stop. What do I do? I need help to help him! I’m scared for him I really am. If you know how I can help him TEXT or CALL me at 3614331356….Thank You

  • Carol

    Thanks for being there. My 33 yr old son escaped a coke addiction a few years ago, after a horrible divorce. A few weeks ago the dr prescribed wellbutrin to help him quit smoking. He totally changed…depressed, couldn’t work, started using gas (his friends told me),and the dr gave him clonipin..which he is taking too much of every day. He broke up with his girlfriend, has terrible stress with his business partner, owes his parents money, and is losing his house. I want to help him..but don’t know what to do. He has promised to make an appointment with the psychiatrist his dr recommended. Should I be checking in to rehab centers? He isn’t ready ot admit his has a problem other than being too anxious..and promises not to do the gas again. What should I say to him? We live in different states, and I am so worried about his mental and emotional state. He lives alone. I will try anything to help him before this gets any worse…thank you!

  • Ash

    I have a brother who turned 18 in January. I am his older sister and have always tried to look out for him. However, since he is 18 he thinks he is an adult and is very disrespectful to me and my parents. He was using all kinds of drugs a year ago and even overdosed in school. He says he is clean and we have had his urine and blood checked which proves he is telling the truth. His attitude changed for the better but now he seems to have transformed into what he was before. We can’t find anything in his drug tests but still suspect he using. He won’t talk to anyone, wants to move out, and is barely going to graduate in June. What do I do?

  • darcy

    Hi everyone, Just came to this site because I have recently been confronted with a hard situation. I have an ex who during our 3 year relationship,( which has been off and on) he has relapsed 4 times. After the last time I didn’t see him for many months, then found out he had been sober for about 1 year.(he never got ahold of me then!) Through a mutual friend I found out he was “out there” again. I found him and decided to help him out…again. During our time apart I worked hard on my spirituality and finally came to terms that I was ok, and relatively serene. My life has been moving forward in a positive way. I let him come back to live with me for that past 3 weeks. I just asked him to leave, I don’t feel as if am myself around him. I take on his drama. He just called me and told me he drank. I’m not taking any responsibility for that decision, but feel bad. I do care about this person, aren’t we supposed to be there for the suffering addict/alcoholic?
    Any advice?

    Thankyou.

  • Franklin

    Thank you so much for your advice regarding detachment. I became a carer for a young woman when she was evicted and her parents were out of the country. She has tried and failed to detox thrice in the last four months, is spending her state benefits on smack rather than rent, and will shortly be evicted again.

  • anon

    hi there. i am contacting you on behalf of my 62 year old mother in-law. her 39 year old son lives at home with her and her partner. he has had a drink problem for a long time. he seems to go on binges every 6-8 weeks. the last time this happened he attacked his mum’s partner,(thankfully not too seriously). she felt she had no choice but to call the police. he was arrested and his mum told him he was’nt welcome back home. he went to court and was told he had to do community service. this was all before xmas. and his mum did allow him back home. he has however, turned to drink again, downing bottles and bottles of vodka and obvisously not doing his community service. he stays in his room until he runs out of drink. his mum is so worried that he will go out of the house for more drink that she has ended up getting it for him. she feels that he is killing himself as he never eats, just drinks. this time it has been nearly three weeks so far. she has noone to turn to and everyone else has giving up on him. its ruining her life as well as his. i don’t know what to tell her and she does’nt know what to do. has anyone got any advice.

  • Patrick

    @ Anon, Darcy, Ash, Carol, Amber, and Anonymous – There are so many stories here and it all sounds like the same thread is running through it all….you all are powerless over these people in your lives who are out of control. The solution to your problem will START when you accept that you are powerless over them. That is the first step right there. Now once you realize the need to detach from these problems you can give the problems back to the people and be free from them. I know that sounds like an impossibility in some cases but it can be done. Detachment takes practice.

    Remember that sometimes people need to go through some pain before they will be moved to change. If you deny them this pain then they will not get any closer to deciding to quit drinking or using. A harsh reality this is but it is one that sometimes needs to be utilized. If you have extended your hand and they continue to refuse to get help then you need to make peace with this fact and realize that you have done what you can. Let it go at this point and pray on it. Offer to help, offer to get them to treatment, but if they continue to self destruct then you must not let yourself get wrapped up in this drama. Detach from it. If you don’t know how to do this then get to an Al-Anon meeting and ask them how and they will guide you. It is not easy and it takes practice but you can regain some sanity if you work at it….

  • Crissy

    Hi, I am in so need of some advise. I have a sister that has an alcoholic boyfriend. He crossed that line and got drunk and hit her with a phonebook. My parents confronted the boyfriend and my sister flies off the handle and says we owe her boyfriend an apology. But of course he was drunk and was cursing so bad towards my parents. When he is sober he doesn’t treat her very well. And also he is a moocher has no job and living off of her. What can I do to help her get out of this situation. It is so frustrated watching someone you love in a hurtful relationship. And we have tried to back off thinking overtime she will open her eyes. But now that line was crossed when he hit her with a phonebook we are so scared to it building up to more physical abuse. Thanks for your help.

  • carrie

    My husband and I were together for 15 years. When we first met, he was honest with me and told me he had a cocaine addiction years before we met and that he was in recovery. Everything was wonderful in the beginning of our relationship. My husband was a respected professional who took great pride in the quality of his work. He was a great partner in life and we did so many great things together. Then eleven years into our marriage, everything changed. My husband’s behavior became erratic. He became forgetful. He began sleeping all the time. He locked himself away in his den and became paranoid and secretive. He lied about where he went and how much money he was spending. He began missing work and his work performance was affected terribly. As we worked together at our own business, I began taking on more and more responsibilities at work and at home. The strain of covering for him and taking on all our professional and personal responsibilities took a toll on me and I can remember days when I didn’t want to leave the house or talk to any of my friends or family. My husband eventually ended up spending all of his time locked in his den getting high and drunk. He’d pass out on the floor where he would lie unconscious for hours. He would then be up for days, barely ate, and his behavior even became threatening at times if he thought I ever told anyone about his addiction. One day, as I looked at him passed out on the living room floor, naked, his mouth burned and his hands black from his crack pipe, I thought…I don’t know this person, I don’t like this person, and I don’t want to be with him anymore. I finally had enough. My husband was lost. I had to save my own sanity and I finally packed up my things and left. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. I left everything behind. I found a new job, filed for divorce and am now seeing a new man with whom I share a wonderful relationship. My ex husband is now living in an apartment with other people who are also addicts. He lost his business and is unable to find work. He is thin, and looks like he has aged 20 years. The day I left him, I thought I would be upset and distraught, but to the contrary, it was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders, and looking back on that day, it was the best decision I ever made. I feel bad for my ex, but there was absolutely nothing I could do to save him, but I certainly could save myself. I wish everyone here the best of luck, and hope you will all find peace and happiness as life is far too short to live it unhappy, discontented and hopeless.

  • Sue

    I have read some of your stories and decided to ask for some advice. I have a 21 year old daughter who is a drug addict, we live about 2 hrs away from each other. she is pretty much homeless I would say, because she has burned so many bridges with family. I recently got married and can’t have her live with me because I know she wouldn’t get any better, I inable her too much, because I feel guilty if I don’t help her (money). I always believe her when she says she is not spending the money on drugs but on places to stay or food. but she always seems to get waisted soon after I “help her out”. I just found out she has been taken to a hospital by ambulance because of drugs. I called and talked to her on the phone and she is still in the ER but was able to talk. My question. Do I drive down and bring her home with me and do the whole 2 days of sleep and then let her mentally abuse me for awhile and then send her on her way again? or Let her figure it out and hopefully she will admit herself into a rehab because she has nowhere to go? I don’t know what to do without feeling guilty for doing nothing or inableing her once again. I really am struggling with this.

  • Patrick

    @ Crissy – Not much you can do other than encourage her to leave or to report the abuse. I would certainly try to one or both of those things if she is in real danger.

    @ Sue – Sounds like you have bent over backwards for her in the past and she is not about to change if you keep handing her money. Why would she? I would not either….just the truth from another addict who has been there. It takes what it takes, and if someone keeps bailing me out with more cash when I’ve used up all my drugs and I’m out of food and so on, then why would I stop if they keep handing me money?

    You need to get help Sue, help for YOU, for yourself, so that you do not let allow yourself to be overwhelmed with guilt. That is not fair and you should not feel bad about putting your foot down. Good luck to you….

  • LJ

    my brother has been a heroin addic for many years and has done soe bad stuff to our family mainly my mum and dad ie robbing there home mum’s gold demanding money and getting violent,he is currently again in prison we don’t know what for this time but it probaly for drugs or drug related he is constantly in and out of prison our family very rarely see him he lives in a different town,we he comes down my mum and dad make excuses as too why they can’t see him or why he can’t come round they are just worried bout what he may do and he always wants money,for some reason when i heard he was in priso again i wanted to see him write to him and more importly help him i haven’t seen or heard from him in over 4 yrs he has 2 girls and the youngest is now 4 and ive never seen her.i want to help him but not sure how to go about it or where to start the next time i see my brother i don’t want it to be at his funeral i understand that his addicton is an illness and i want to help him.

  • JAYNE

    So many of these stories sound familiar, and I’ve been searching for a place to help me, which is very hard to find. I have been with my boyfriend for about 7 months. When I met him he had just been released from prison. He was there for theft, obviously due to his drug addiction. He was there for a year. He said going there was the best thing that happened to him, he is now clean and sober and ready to live a productive life. I’m not sure what kind of counceling he got for drugs while in there, if any. He said that he wanted nothing to do with crack anymore, which is what he was doing previously. He and I fell in love very quickly, he seemed like the perfect guy. We never wanted to be apart from eachother. About 2 months after we met he relapsed. He dissapearred and i didn’t know what happened to him. I couldn’t get in touch with him for a couple days, and found out he was with his ex, who was still daily doing crack. My boyfriend had a good job at the time and had money. They went through all of it, even stole some from his grandparents, who were giving him a place to stay since getting out of prison. I was devastated when I found out, and ironically ended up at a house where they were staying and when he saw me, he said his heat sank and he got away from her and started trying to contact me immedietly and for the next few days. I replied to him with very mean and nasty messages and finally gave in and talked to him a couple days later. He was not doing anything with his ex other than drugs. They had no physical contact.It took a couple weeks of us talking for us to be ok again. I tried to understand what happened and how he could risk losing me and he did lose his job, and he lost eveyone’s trust in him. He did his best to explain and promised it wouldn’t happen again. He said he didn’t even enjoy it this time, it just made him feel bad. So things got better and we started to continue our wonderful relationship. About 3 months later he was dealing with something very difficult. His grandparents house burnt down, and it was possibly due to his smoking and falling asleep. He was not doing drugs at the time, and the result of the fire was said to be electrical, but many still questioned if he actually caused it. They put them all up in a motel and one day out of the blue he took all his mother’s xanax, which was about 15. He was in bad shape, needless to say. Again we worked through this, and although I can understand how horrible he was feeling, I talked to him about finding other ways to deal with his problems. I told him we all have problems, and since I’ve never used drugs, I can’t understand what happens to him, but that he needs to find other ways to deal with things. I told him he can talk to me when he gets these feelings or talk to someone else that can help him. He agreed and we again moved on. I was glad he didn’t do crack at least that time. A few weeks after that we got an apartment together, which he paid the majority of. He paid all his fines that he needed to pay in order to get his drivers license back. He then bought a cheap truck. He was so proud of himself for his accomplishments. I let him know how proud I was of him too. We are together almost every minute of the day. We work together, so we drive to work every day together. We are home at night together, we never go out without each other. Our life together in our apartment has been wonderful. We don’t fight or argue about anything. We have both been so happy. A couple days ago I had to work on a Saturday, and he didn’t. He stayed home and cleaned the house and we planned to go to the store when I got home. We sent each other messages during the day saying how we missed each other and loved each other. Everything seemed just fine. When I got home from work he was sleeping and tired, which I assumed was due to him cleaning all day. I told him I would go to the store myself as long as he helped me bring the groceries in. He said that was fine. Then, while I was at the store he called and told me a friend of his needed him to go pick him up cause his car broke down. I thought it seemed strange and questioned him about this, but decided I was just being paranoid. 2 hours later he wasn’t back and I started to try to call him. When he does this crap he won’t answer his phone. And that’s when I started to freak out. I spent the night driving around looking for him, and you know the rest of the story. He relapsed. I know it’s not my fault, but i feel guilty for going to work that day and guilty for going to the store. I should have known something was wrong, but there were no warning signs that I can see. When he came back the next morning I wouldn’t let him in. Later I had him come pick up his clothes and leave. I was still worried about him, and found him later that day. I let him come stay at the apartment that night but I still haven’t let him bring his clothes back in. We went to work Monday and he seems fine. We had a long talk last night, and I promised him that I won’t stay with him if this ever happens again. He made all sorts of promises to me. We went through his phone and deleted all numbers of anyone that was even questionable. He then had me put in a password that he doesn’t know, and this won’t allow him to make or receive any calls that aren’t in his contact list. He also gave me his truck keys and told me he won’t go anywhere without me knowing. He said he’ll start putting his money into my account, which he can’t access, so he won’t have money unless I give it to him. He is also going to start going to AA. These are great things and I know he doesn’t want to use again, but it is so hard. I don’t know how to act around him. I am still very angry. But I don’t want my anger to make him do something stupid. I want to hug him and tell him I’m here for him, but at the same time I need him to know that i mean business, and let him know how much he’s hurt me. And although I want to help him 100%, I also want a boyfriend, I don’t want a child that i have to babysit every minute of the day. I really don’t know what to do. I am going to go to Al-anon and I hope this helps. I just don’t know if this is the right time to let him go or should I stay and see if he goes to AA and gets help and quits for good. I just really don’t want to go through this pain again, and I know there are no guarantees. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  • Sue

    I am currently living with my boyfriend who has a 21 year old son who is addicted to crack and alcohol and has been for several years. He has been to every treatment facility that there is in our town numerous times. He has been kicked out before and sometimes he just leaves and doesn’t make contact with us for a week or so at a time. His dad “saves” him from every situation. When he disappears his father will actually drive around town to find him. He gives him cigarettes, alllows him to come “home” to eat and take a shower. The kid has no motivation to work or go beyond what his dad say’s to do. His dad even calls and makes appointments for him and takes off work to see that he gets where he needs to be. He is now in a rehab facility for the 2nd time this week, and his dad is already making comments about when he gets released in a week or two about him coming home. I disagree with most all of his decisions. I really feel like this kid can’t get to his real low and make a decision to get help, because his father is always bailing him out. What should I do???

  • Patrick

    @ Jayne – that is quite a story Jayne. You basically said it yourself, “there are no guarantees.” That is for sure and if I told you to stick with him for now or to back off then I would be doing you a disservice. I think this decision is between you and your higher power as there is nothing glaring in your story that says you absolutely should or should not give up on him at this point. I would encourage him to get help and also encourage you to attend Al-Anon. That is worrisome about the Xanax, those are dangerous pills especially when combined with booze. It is hard to make him understand how much he has hurt you, and he probably already knows he has and has is own guilt and shame in dealing with that. But that is no excuse and if it is too much then you should walk away. That is for you to decide and I cannot push you one way or the other. Prayers for both of you, good luck…..

    @ Sue – I think you have to educate your boyfriend a bit on exactly what enabling is and how he is actually hurting his son when he thinks he is helping him. He doesn’t necessarily need to become Mr. Tough Love but he needs to understand what is happening and make some changes it sounds like. Not sure what the best approach is for this in terms of educating him but you need to get through to him somehow. Get him to Al-Anon or simply explain it yourself, that the son needs to go through some pain if he is going to change on his own…..good luck…..

  • Maryellen

    My 27 yr old son is going back to court next week on numerous burglary/grand theft charges. He got out of jail last October, promising/vowing never to hurt himself or his family by getting back on drugs. He was smoking herion and crack, and taking any kind of pills he could buy or steal. He stole from family and friends all the time, to the point where he was basically living on the street when he was arrested because no one would trust him to be in their home. He was arrested on Jan. 16.

    He begged me to bond him out and get him a real lawyer, not the public defender, and I refused. I still take his calls from the jail, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to visit him. I know its not him who is hopeless, it’s his addictions. I’m trying to work with his lawyer to get an 18 month rehab stint instead of jail. I almost wish he would go to prison, so he would stop hurting himself with drugs. I would rather visit a prison than a cemetary.

  • jessica

    I don’t know what else to do I have a 16 month old daughter and her father is doing heroin and drinks he just turned 21 he says he doesn’t do drugs but he’s not him self and I can smell it plus his bro does it and the people he hangs with and he brings fake pee to his conceling meetings I dono what to do I’ve tried everything keeping him busy during the day and constently telling him I’m here for him trying to tell him he is worth more and has a beautiful baby girl that looks up to him soo much. Tried helping him get a job. Nothing works and I can’t stand to see him do this to himself he has so much mor potintial and I can’t even hardly eat nad my eyes are always watering up at work and I dono how to handel it I’m not 1 to cry
    What do I do he says he wants help then I say so u are doing drugs and he says no I just want to get away so I don’t do anythhing…

  • Patrick

    @ Maryellen – Yes you are right to push for rehab over prison. I hope he is ready for that change if he gets the opportunity. Prayers for both of you…

    @ Jessica – Sounds like he is not done using drugs yet. Just doesn’t sound like he is truly ready to stop and make a change. Push him to go to treatment and if he refuses then you might have to make a decision yourself. Do you want to live with someone who is not going to change? It might come down to that….good luck, hang in there….

  • Linda

    I have a 29 year old son who is an alcohol and drug addict.I really don’t know what all he does.He has gotten in over his head . He has been to two rehabs.Always walks out after 7 to 10 days.I want to help him but just don’t know how? He also was diognoised with manic bioplor disorder when he was 19. That has been a battle in it’s self . He is slowly killing his self .Please help me help him !!!!!!!!I know he has to be the one to want it !We are trying to get him in to a rehab right now.But it is goverment funded and they do not have a bed open at this time .Hopeing you can help us .By Linda on 03-14-09

  • Christine

    I am 5 weeks away from delivering my first child- a little girl. And my husband’s drug use has been getting worse. He is on probation and smokes pot as well as gets pills from a doctor (valium, xanax, oxycontin). I have gone back and forth trying to determine if I should call the doctor to tell him about his misuse of the drugs- I know he will just find another doctor. I do NOT want my baby to grow up in this situation and I am very close to walking away. Please help me!!!

  • Brenda

    My daughter is 19. She called me a few days ago and came clean about her drug and alcohol abuse. She is living about 30 miles from me with her boyfriend. Shes doing pill, morphine, heroine, alcohol, uppers, downers, pot, you name it. I convinced her to come to my house, go to AA meetings, get clean and get better. What I cant convince her of, is to never go back there. He is the one supplying her habit and makes it all accessible to her. If she goes back, she’ll really go back, to it all. I know that I can’t control her or make decisions for her but she is crying out for help to some degree but not completely. I confronted the boyfriend and his only response, was that he’s not the one that has the problem, so its not his problem to deal with and that she’s an adult and makes her own choices. Any advice?

  • Mary

    My best friend of 26 years is an alcoholic. She was sober for 11 years, but then relapsed. I have felt guilty for a long time. I know it is not my fault, but I have a hard time with being around her when she is drinking. She is angry and mean. I have told her to not come around me, but it is difficult. I love her, but I want her sober. I have set boundaries, but they get crossed. I guess I have to be stronger. I know she wants to get help, but is scared..of losing family support. I am her support system right now. If I leave she has nothing. What do I do? Let her fall? She needs support, and refuses to go to AA, because of men bothering her as well as women. She is beautiful. I have no other choice but to love and support her. She and I are in this together. I will show her unconditional love with boundaries. Hope she gets sober

  • Mary

    Christine, you must think of the baby first and what is the best thing for you and your baby. This situation is not good for either of you. As hard as it is it would be better to go to someone who can help you, a family member or friend. Hope all works out for you.

  • SilverMoon

    Hi all…My best friend has been using drugs and alcohol since he was 15 or 16. He’s 24 now and spent most of this time addicted to one substance or another. He drinks almost every night, even alone. I’ve always been worried about him, but never as much as right now. In the last 11 days, he did coke, ecstacy, percocet, adderol, more ecstacy, and then adderol two days in a row. That’s 7 out 11 days he got high, and every one of those nights he also gets drunk. I’m afraid he’s going to kill himself because the combinations of all these drugs are probably really dangerous. I know that if I tell him I don’t want to hang out when he’s high or drunk he’ll just hang out with his enabling friends instead. We are best friends but he consistently chooses alcohol and drugs over me. I know he feels guilty about his use because he admits it when he’s drunk, but he refuses to do anything about it. I don’t really know what to do other than tell his family, but I’m afraid that will just make him hide it better. When we first became friends I had no idea that he was doing drugs for about 6 months until he told me. What can I do?

  • Patrick

    @ Silvermoon – You can start by setting some limits and boundaries, if that is the route you want to go. If you refuse to be around him when he is drunk and high then this might have a subtle but lasting impact on him. It might create resentment in the short term but it might be what he really needs to hear. Just a thought…..

    @ Mary – I agree with your thoughts and your advice to Christine….I think you know what you need to do in order to help your friend but it is hard to set the boundaries and stick to them. Good luck to you as well…..

  • http://mickkiwi1@katenz.orangehome.co.uk kate

    I have been happily married to a great guy for 16 years when he is not drinking. when we met he was a heavy drinker and loved his wekends in the pub he is 9 yrs older than me and I thought he was the bees knees, now 16 years later and after running 2 pubs we are in a mess. his drinking is out of control, we have 3 wonderful children who are suffering now aswell and he just can’t see it “i’ll give up if thats what it takes” he said only yesterday and that was followed by a lg glass of white wine and 2 thirds of a bottle of tequila after we had gone out without him.
    I thought he drank because he was depressed now i’m not so sure that he is depressed because he is drunk there are no meetings for al-anon till next week and I am so scared for us as a family. I am keeping a journal of his drinking so that if he is sober I may show it to him, but I think he loves the booze more than me.

  • Terri

    First I want to thank you for caring for others and sharing your experience. I have a son who is 23 and has been through rehab but relapsed deeper than ever. He has now given up on life and tells me he doesn’t care about anything and just wants to die. He does not have a job and lives at home with his father and I. His father is a huge challenge to us all and makes life difficult which doesn’t help with an addict. My question to you is what do you do when the addict doesn’t care anymore and just wants to die? I don’t want to give up on my son and I am afraid he will kill himself. He is very angry and hates himself. I have encouraged him to attend meetings and counseling but he goes for a while and then quits. I am at a loss of how to help. He is currently taking suboxene which has helped some but still smokes pot and sometimes drinks. I pray for him always. I realize you don’t have all the answers but as a parent desparately holding on to hope for my son, I would like your insight.

  • alana

    I have a 20 year old daughter that has an addictive personality, weed, alcohol, ecstasy, ect.. She keeps her life on track for a little while, three to four weeks or months and then slowly starts hanging around with her low life friends and gets back into drugs for a bit, and then tell us she is sick of her life, changes, and then goes back and the cycle continues. She says it is hard to change, but she has a lot of support around her, has been to counselling for it, et cetera. I guess after reading all of these posts, it just makes me feel hopeless, that things will never change, this will be my life with her, et cetera. I have not been to a support meeting as everyone recommends, but I will try it. Just seems so hopeless if you have an addictive personality. So hard when it is your child and you can’t do anything to help. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. Guess I’m just depressed, because she has had another relapse and is hanging out with her lowlife friends.

  • Anonymous Please

    My best friend of 20 years has a son (my nephew)who currently is a lying, stealing drug addict and is stealing from everyone including my daughter. Now now my friend is turning some of her anger out on my child because she spoke out against what he did and warns people about how he is. My friend has bailed him out of everything to keep someone from huring him, killing him or from hurting himself. She can’t get help from her husband because he was so mean to her son when he was growing up and is still mean to him. Everyone is so fed up with him but she can’t see that she is putting blame on other innocent people and my child is caught up in the middle. I try to tell my daughter to be patient that she is having a tough time and doesn’t know how to deal with it but my friend just lashes out about anyone that has a foul word for her son. Now our relationship is suffering. She couldn’t even tell my daughter happy birthday yesterday and That’s sad. I try to keep the peace because my daughter lives on her and her son’s property and can’t afford another place but it’s like you have to put up with the crap or leave! My daughter is such a good hearted and loving person who is very honest almost to a fault but she should never have to put up with that just because she feels she has no choice. I am at a point now where it is offending me for my child even though I have tried to support my friend through this tough time. Now she barely answers the phone when I call and last night her son went to jail and she hasn’t even called me. I’m hurting for my friend but mad at her for mistreating my daughter. I don’t know what to do but my daughter has done nothing wrong. It is her son. He has 2 children and won’t even help support them. She knows he does wrong but is quick to remind people that all them ‘other’ people have no room to talk. I know it’s a perfectly natural defense but she is so blinded by his lies that she doesn’t know what to believe so she picks what she things probably is and goes at that. I think she is enabling him but what else can a mother do to help keep her child from dying? I don’t want to hurt her but my patience is wearing thin. My daughter has decided she will move if she has to but will never speak to them again if they make her move because of his lies and issues. It’s sad and I am afraid it will be the end a very dear friend in my life.

  • Glenda

    I am ‘Anonymous Please’. Thank you Patrick for this site. I have been reading some of the articles and really am grateful there is someone on the other side with sound advice.

  • Patrick

    @ Kate – that is a distressing situation and it doesn’t sound like he is about to stop anytime soon. I would plan on getting involved with Al-Anon and see if they can give you more guidance.

    @ Alana – Yes it is depressing and it might seem like there is no hope. But my family was in the same position you are and something finally clicked for me. No, there is not much you can do to help or get someone closer to surrender. But hang in there and get to a support meeting.

    @ Glenda – hang in there Glenda, sometimes it takes time for people to work through the types of issues you are describing. Prayers for you and your nephew and get yourself to a supportive meeting if you can find one. Good luck to everyone out there…

  • Fatma

    this has helped me with my drama gcse as i am acting out a drug addict. thanks.

  • Glenda

    I hope I can be patient now that the worst (for me) has happened. They are making my daughter move. Did I mention she is a single parent with 3 small children? I am PO’d because of it but more than anything I am hurting for my child, my grandchildren and my friendship. Drugs are never a victimless crime and in this case my babies were caught in the cross-fire. She says she will leave her husband to take care of her son if she has to. Everything I hear now is through the grapevine because she won’t talk to me.
    Her son needs more help than she can give but she still just can’t see it.
    I know about what they typical advice is but she won’t bite. She is too consumed and overwhelmed by the thought of her son losing his life. I am and have been praying, crying and praying some more but right now just seems so hopeless for everyone around him and his drug addiction. I know God has it all worked out but it is just hard.

  • Glenda

    I also have to say I know what being an enabler is all about since I was married to a drug addict/alcoholic, etc. for almost 12 years. My friend also used to be married to a drug addict but I guess the rules change when it’s your child.

  • alana

    Patrick, what finally clicked for you? thanks for the support.

  • Patrick

    @ Glenda – Yes it is especially hard when it is kids you are trying to help that are struggling with addiction.

    @ Alana – What finally clicked for me is a mystery…I’m not sure I can claim that it was my own doing. I think I was simply blessed with the decision to ask for help one day. Nothing I did in my life intentionally pushed me to this point. I became miserable enough to give sobriety a chance. Not very inspirational but that is how I came to be sober. We are motivated by pain, not by the promise of a new life. Think about that when dealing with others….do not deny an addict their pain. It is ultimately what will lead them to change.

  • alana

    Patrick, I think you give very good advice and I definitely will take it. Never really thought of it in terms that pain motivates somebody and not the promise of a new life. But that might work for my daughter because she hates to be uncomfortable and seems like I am always rescuing her. I will try to the tough love approach. I am getting better at detaching myself.

  • jacqui

    I have a husband who relapsed last year and has cycled in and out of crack use for the past year. Since he binges he will go for 2 to 3 months and not use and then disapear for 1 to 2 days and so will money. I have not handled it well and lost my temper yesterday now he is gone again. I am thankful to have found this site for information and will be going for the first time to a meeting myself.

  • Natasha

    I just read this article and it seems like this is just the guidance that i need. I am in love with an addict and thought that the problem was under control. Out of nowhere, the problem came back to life. It’s been a couple of weeks and I realized that I am so wrapped up in wanting him to get better that my own health is deteriorating. It pains me, but I see that detachment is the next thing that has to occur. I plan to get the book and learn how to love him and allow him to see that I am still here for him but I have boundaries and limits to what I can and will do for him due to his addiction.

  • Natasha

    Patrick, i just noticed your comment about “we are motivated by pain, not the promise of a new life.” I felt like things could not go wrong regarding his drug addiction because we had a life together that he had never had before. I felt that the love that he and I have with each other is genuine and therefore just what he needed to want to stay clean. unfortunately, I am reading this statement AFTER losing him to the drug life again and now have to find my way out of this emotional hole that I am in. He will sneak around the house and watch me and has even asked to speak to me one evening out in the yard. He told me how much he loves me and the thought of me moving on would kill him. This is not something that I am even considering right now but it shows me that somewhere in there, the man that I fell in love with still exists. I asked him about getting help and he is in full denial and I know that this will be a long battle. Information like this gives me hope that though he may be lost to the drugs, I don’t have to take all of my love from him…just the part that keeps him comfortable.

  • Patrick

    @ Natasha – It sounds like you have come to a new understanding with things and with your relationship with him. You can detach but still have hope, if that makes sense. Good luck to both of you…..

  • alana

    What really gets me about my daughter is she will always give me little glimpses that she is going to get a new life and friends, but sometimes I think she is just telling me what I want to hear, because her actions show different. It’s almost as she is lying to herself if that makes sense. So frustrating to me . She just gives me enough hope to keep being there for her….

  • Patrick

    @ Alana – Yes, addiction is lying to yourself. This is called denial. Anyone who is caught on the hamster wheel of addiction is in denial IF they know there is a solution. Some people genuinely do not know that recovery exists. Those who do must ignore the idea and continue to self destruct. Good luck to you and your daughter both….

  • wendy

    all i can say is thank you so very much this imformation popped up right at the perfect moment…

  • alana

    I am finding it hard to detach. I find myself on the hamster wheel. My daughter’s drug addiction is affecting me more than it is her. The manipulation has just become a way of life for her, a learned habit apparently.

  • Thinking Crazy Again

    I have read many of the posts on here. They sound all to familiar, so I’m not going into all the explecit detail of the ordeal of my family. My brother just turned 50. He has been addicted since he was 13. After his fifth trip to prison, he managed to stay clean for about 9 years straight, but then relapsed about 5 years ago. He is in detox now where he managed to OD. I’m 56, Mom is 82, Dad is at rest. Mom and I have just about gone the limit. I have two questions.

    1. Can you chain someone up in a cabin in the woods for their own good?

    2. If answer to #1 is no, can you shoot them like you would a horse with a broken leg and just get it over?

  • alana

    wow, you must be fed up to say that. But I have had hopeless thoughts, too, but not quite like that.

  • amy

    my sister just told me about being sexually abused as a child she has been a alcoholic most her life and wants and needs help i do not know what to do to help her.her husband is in denial,she is very affraid he will not ever get it.and does not want to lose him what can i do to help her what are the first steps?

  • alana

    I would get her to a therapist so she can deal with her abuse issues and alcohol issues.

  • Penelope

    After reading some of the comments I am glad to see I am not alone. I was (am) married for 16 years. My husband deals with grave depression and now bipolar after a car accident 12 years ago. After not dealing and working through issues he has now turned to drugs prescription and illegal. It has destroyed our marriage and turning him into a person no one recognizes anymore. It is a very sad situation. I was his enabler and rescuer. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. He has not attempted to call me or our children in over several months. He has devastated the children. I am in counseling but it is so hard. Some days have gotten easier than others. Do you ever get over it?

  • shell

    My 16 year old son is doing xanax. In the past 3 mnths we have had him in the hospital twice. He takes 5, 10, 12 at a time, they are 2mg a each, this amounts to a huge dose. This past weekend he took a bunch on saturday and slept until monday night. It’s the third time in the last 3 months he has been incoherant. When he’s coming down he is full of rage, punching walls, breaking things, he had a fist fight with his dad this morning. He says he wants to drop out of school, says he doesn’t care about anything. I don’t know if I should sign him out of school- he needs my permission. This was his best school year up until he broke up with his girlfriend of 2 years in february, he almost made the honor roll. He has refused to go school the past 2 days and the 2 days before that wouldn’t have been able to function there so I called him in sick. I cannot make him go, he is bigger than me now. His dad doesn’t want him at his house anymore because he smashes everything when he’s there. I’m afraid to have him at our house when he is so angry. He does see a therapist, but it’s only been a couple of months of visits. The drugs seem to take away all his common sense for days at a time after he does them.
    What do you do about a teenager like this? Do I sign him out of school? I can’t just not give him rides. I have to pick him up at his dad’s after school, it’s 7 miles away so I can take him home to feed him. He usually is with me during the weeknights and his dad on the weekends. We are determined not to give him anymore money.
    It’s so hard because it’s like I have this giant toddler having a temper tantrum, except his words are more hurtful and his destruction more powerful.
    I never thought I could feel this for another person, it’s like a piece of me is dying slowly. It’s amazing what I can give, and forgive my child for.
    I’ll take any advise i can get, I just started looking for narc anon meetings near me.

  • Tina

    I am afraid my 23 year old son will not live to see 24 if I don’t do something to make him see he is killing himself. He was in an serious accident, hospitalized for injuries and checked himself out because they would not give him any more pain medication because he was also self medicating. Now know one knows where his is, if he is okay or anything. He has numerous broken bones and is in or was in pain the last time I saw him. I tried the tough approach, stop giving him money, won’t let him live with me ect. I am just scared he is going to overdose and die… I am considering calling law enforcement and hopefully they can find him and arrest him for possession or something. I would rather he be locked up then dead. any suggestions.

  • hopelessdad

    I have been following this blog for several weeks now and share all of the pain and suffering of each and everyone on this blog. My son a heroin addict went to rehab and succeeded in his senior year in HS. He came out and went off to college and did well the first year but I could see this year he slowly started to fall. Now he is a full relapse and has lost friends, job and girlfriend and also gotten kicked out of his apartment by roommates because of his steeling and forging of checks. He insisted we visit him one day and we did and had what appeared to be a normal day yet his life is so abnormal. My wife and I have agreed that the only way to help is not to do anything for him. He seems to be in denial although he continues to tell us he is going to get help. I am amazed he has not been arrested, although he could be in jail today. He either lost or sold his phone yet he claims it is with a friend. The only contact with him is if he calls us or emails. He is bright, humorous when he wants to be and can a delight to be with. We feel so desperate and I continue to go to Nar-anon and believe me, Patrick is correct, people need to get themselves to a meeting because they do help you focus and cope. We have spent so much of our funds on rehab and school that we are frightened for our own financial survival. What we have left we need to keep for us or the day that maybe our son turns things around and if at that point we trust ( which is hard to visualize) we can then try and help. Does anyone out there have advice on getting help for someone that is basically homeless? Every day the guilt is in the pit of my stomach and I think about taking him back but I can’t live with someone I do not trust. I often hear that when people are ready they will go to rehab but how do they pay if they are living on the street? he is pretty damn close to hitting rock bottom…. But who can help if we can’t afford to. Any advise from Patrick or anyone else would be appreciated.
    Ps – get to a meeting.

  • Pocahontas

    Hi Patrick. My brother is addicted to pain killers. The situation is pretty bad. My parents and I have tried to take him to the doctor (blackmail him into goin etc etc) but basically nothing has worked. I am all for the detachment you talk about but what if, we detach and one day he is gone – dead perhaps? Please help?

  • Tanya

    I’m and living with my boyfriend,with whom I have been with for two years.He is a an addict.His drugs of choice are Cocaine,Heroin,and Crack.I’ve read your article and I feel so confused and lost!
    He is the most amazing man that I have ever been with,however,when he gets high he is a COMPLETEY different person.Many people have given up on him and for what I’ve seen in the past before we were even friends and before we were even a couple is that the more people gave up on him the worse his addiction got.How do I detach myself without being like everyone else in his life.His addiction went from everyday to once or twice every four to six months.Everyone is our lives keep telling me that I have saved his life,but who is saving mine?
    When he loves me,he loves me with his whole heart but when he gets in his moods and I know his addiction is calling him he treats me the complete opposite.He blames me for holding him back without actually saying it.

    Please Help Me!!!!

  • Anonymous

    im 14 and my mom is an alcholic. whens she drinks she is violent. she scares me. My step-dad and i want to get her help but we dont know where to start. i would really appreciate it if you emailed me with just a little bit of advice because we dont know what to do!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Emily

    It is always comforting to know that a person who loves an addict is not alone.

    God has put a wonderful, talented, and bright man in my life. He will turn 30 in a couple weeks. He has lost everything because of his addiction. Six years ago he was starring in movies, he had made it in the film business. After 9/11 he fell into drugs. He lost everything. Burnt many bridges. And probably will never be able to do what he loves again.

    His addiction is complex. He has no money anymore, so roams the streets day and night asking anyone he runs into for weed–or possible ANYTHING else they may have. He will consume anything that will alter his state of mind at all times of day. He steals and is aggressive to me and the few people in his life that love him. His family has disowned him. He also struggles with bipolar disorder and lives in a constant state of psychosis. The times that he has been medicated he has abused his prescriptions. Everyday is a fight, and I only live minute to minute, praying that he lives through the day. He will prostitute himself for weed or anything else. He is a bisexual man that struggles with his sexual identity and his lost career. Some days he sits at my house, manic, googling himself. Everyday I talk to him about his addiction and pray. He is willing to go to church, willing to go to meetings, but he just performs a character and I don’t feel like he means anything he says.

    he was sober for two years recently. This is a relapse and it is real bad. He was recently taken to jail for domestic violence charges.

    There is always guilt. He makes me feel guilty for everything. But everyday I live for those ten minutes that he is balanced. I try and communicate with him that there is something to live for, because he thinks he has already lived and experienced everything he can. There are these moments in the day that the real sober person comes out. He knows that he has to change…but again, its “on his own terms”. I’m praying that God forcefully intervenes. He is so manic that his opinion on addiction changes so frequently. Just getting through the day is so difficult. He can’t sit still, he paints his shoes, floors, crazy manic behavior. He doesn’t want to fill out paper work for welfare so that he can have medical.

    Its so frustrating. He lies, he steals, he is unpredictable. But I can’t stop loving and having hope for him to get better. Sometimes I feel like he is only taking advantage of me. He would be homeless if it wasn’t for me and another individual that is at an end with it all as well. Sometimes I think he wants to be homeless, that he wouldn’t care. He has been kicked out of every bar in walking distance to where he stays. He has to be watched 24 hours a day because he is so destructive and careless.

    Sometimes I think him being on the street would be the best thing for him. He doesn’t care what I do for him.

    Praying for you all.

  • holly

    my boyfriend uses coke, weed and ketamine. on nights out he sometimes takes ecstacy. his main drug of choice is ketamine which he has been known to use daily. that is when it became a problem for us. before we got together we had been friends for many months, i knew he occasionally took drugs but its not until more recently that it seems to have become more and more frequent. he knew it was causing a strain on our relationship a few months ago and said he was going to cut down. a week later he had been on ket every night and other drugs (didnt say which) and had acid which made him very scared and he called me over to sit with him while he slept as he was afraid he was going to die. after this day he said he was going to stop drugs altogether. this promise lasted only a few days before he was back on the ketamine.
    i worry about him constantly and feel his drug use is a betrayal when he knows how much it upsets me. he claims he is not addicted and doesnt feel he needs the drugs. all his friends take the drugs too so where ever he goes the drugs are there as a temptation. he has tried and failed many times to give up the drugs on his own but every time he has lied to me to get his way to the drugs (saying he is working late, saying he’s popping to see a friend) it seems that every time i dont see him he always takes something.
    i’m finding it very difficult as i’m trying to recover from cancer but all my energy is used up feeling stressed, anxious and depressed about him.
    he has started going to a drugs clinic which will support him and help him get clean but i don’t know if he is doing that just to keep our relationship together or if he actually means it and wants to change.
    he is a dj and every month he plays at a club and the drugs are just there in front of him and he doesnt refuse them. this is a constant anxiety to me because i go to the night out with my friends and he denies using the drugs despite me seeing the tell tale signs of white round his nose, funny eyes etc and it just takes us back to square one constantly.
    i dont want to try to change him or tell him not to see people or to stop djing (which he loves!)
    he is a wonderful person, i love him so much and he makes me so happy and has been a great support to me when i’ve been very poorly when he hasnt been on something but when he is on something he becomes very selfish, ignores me, snaps at me, treats me differently to how he normally would. also his face changes, his eyes go lazy and crossed and his cheek bones stick out and it ages him by 10 years. i am in love with the clean version of him but the drug side of him hurts me a lot.
    i want to believe that he can change but i’m not sure he can without a dramtic life change. i’m 22 and after battling cancer for a year of my life i want to feel care free and happy but the drugs bring me down so much. i just don’t know what to do :( if someone could give me some advice i would be so grateful. i don’t want to end this relationship because the good days are so good, it’s better than any relationship i’ve had before but should i listen to the anxiety that is eating away at me and making me sick and depressed and probably slowing down my own recovery?

  • http://HisFriend A

    It’s been a while since I last wrote. My friend has lost a lot, and almost lost his job. He’s had good days/a good week here and there, but he’s still drinking and is depressed. He goes to counseling once in a while, but it’s not enough, and he’s not “ready” to go to AA or get other help. I’ve tried to help in many ways, tough love and embracing support, but nothing helps and it depresses me to feel so helpless. It’s really affecting me and I know some people say I need to walk away, to save my sanity, but how can I when I’m one of the only people he trusts and opens up to? I’m really struggling. I so desperately want him to get help. I see such good in him! I know there’s nothing more I can do, so what do I do now? Do I continue listening to him when he’s sad and try to guide him in the right direction (and feel sad inside when he makes the wrong choices) or do I get “tough” with him and tell him only to talk to me when he’s really ready to get help? What else can I possibly say to him to let him know how deeply I care and want him to be the person I know he is capable of, if not for drinking? He can’t afford to lose any more in his life, and I worry about him daily. The “drama” of it all is getting to me, but I cannot, cannot, cannot just walk away! What should I do? He’s worth fighting for – he’s such a good person and can contribute so much – so I continue. Any advice??

  • His Friend

    That last post was from me, “His Friend” but I messed up putting my name in, sorry. I would appreciate any advice on how to stay sane and supportive at the same time. Thanks!

  • Patrick

    Lots of stories on here….almost everyone seems to be in a relationship with someone who is slowly self destructing due to drug or alcohol use. So here is another take on things for those who have commented recently:

    A lot of times we enable others indirectly without realizing it. For example, “his friend” talked about how the alcoholic in their life tends to pour out their heart and soul when they are sad and depressed, and so we feel like we cannot turn our back on them because we are their only friend/support system. This is the type of thinking that perpetuates the disease and enables people. Yes, it is horrible to think of leaving someone alone when they are depressed and need our help the most. BUT…consider the fact that if you are always there for them to cry on your shoulder then you open the door up for them to continue their drug or alcohol use.

    WHAT IF you were not there for them to cry on? You are probably telling yourself that they would die of depression or kill themselves, etc. This is the thinking that keeps both of you trapped. Let them reap what they sow for once let them endure the misery that they have created.

    How else do you think they will ever be motivated to change? It is only through experiencing enough pain that the addict or alcoholic will decide to do something different.

    Thanks to everyone for their comments and please think these ideas over a bit. Sometimes we need to step away long enough for a person to really see how much pain they are living in.

  • paula Quinn

    I, like a lot of people posting on here am very greatful to have found this site. I am 53 yrs old and have 2 daughters that are drug abusers/addicts and an alcoholic husbands. If that is not a bee’s nest, don’t know what is. My oldest daughter is abusing saboxone, I suspect. Her BF of three years is on it for a history of opiate addiction as a teenager. He has been on it for 6 years. I know, way too long. I think my daughter hooked up with him because he had a constant supply of it. She has had a history of drugs and alcohol abuse. 2 dwi’s in one weekend, leaving the scene of an accident. Possesion of a narcotic. She was involved in a domestic dispute 6 yrs ago and called the police and they found cocaine powder on a mirror in her room. She has lost her liscience to drive for 4 years. She will be able to drive in one year. That is some history on her.
    I married my husband 9 years ago 11 months after the death of his first wife from cancer. When I married him, I had no idea he had such a problem with alcohol. I know marrying him just 11 month…Probably say a lot about where my head is at. WE separated for a year about 3 years ago and he finally got arrested for dwi. His blood alcohol was .27. He subsquently stopped drinking for 1 year. I moved back into the house and we started over. He started drinking moderately after about 6 months. He does not believe in AA and I am not sure I believe in the philosphy either. His battle with alcohol is his own and I can not change him. My leaving him made him realize that what I will not tolerate, so he is in constant battle, but again it is what he choses. I suspect we will not grow old together so I try and appreciate every good day.
    Now, my youngest daughter,23,has never had and issue with drugs or alcohol that I am aware of until lately. She was, however, hopitalized 4 times in her teens for self injury, cutting. She bears the scars but does not do this any more. She allowed, just before christmas that she was addicted to herion and she needed help. She arranged for an admission into a detox center and I took her there where she stayed for 5 days. She was put on a waiting list for a state funded rehab but the waiting list was around 3 months and she seemed to be struggling. I paid for a six week rehab and she very willingly went. She was asked to leave because she was caught shoplifting in the wal mart. She returned to the rehab after being back in her apt and being clean, I think, for 6 weeks. She finised the program and was beautiful and healthy when she got out. I drove to pick her up 4 states away and she drove us home. It’s been one week and a half and I am seeing some behaviors that I was seeing before she got clean. She swears she is not using and does not even drink anything. I am trying to trust and I don’t know what else I can do for her if she is using unles she admits it. I am triing hard to “detatch” and let her live her own life, but I am having a very hard time. I just broke down on the phone with her a few minutes ago. I know I should get to an al-anon meeting. I guess with my story, if anyone needs it I do. I guess I am afraid I will lose everyone that I love.

  • His Friend

    Thanks Patrick. I needed to hear that. I’ll step back and pray.

  • Patrick

    Wow Paula, that is quite a story there. I sense that you are most worried about your youngest daughter this is displaying strange behaviors and you’re not sure if she is clean or not.

    That is a tough situation and also a tough relationship….I am sure your daughter loves you and does not want to hurt you IF she happens to be using. I know that because I have been in that situation with my family….out there abusing drugs, but lying about it all the time because I did not want to hurt them.

    Not a good situation either way. And, maybe she is clean. Who is to say? You are right in that you should seek help for yourself. Be supportive and tell your daughter that she can come to you with anything, even if she relapsed, and you will not freak out. Try to offer true, pure support in this sense. It is all you can do to try and gain her trust. Good luck to you and your family…..

  • paula Quinn

    Thank you so much for you comment. I did have a good conversation with my daughter tonite and apologized for being so emotional but reinforced my concern and told her that I was going to “back off a bit” (I checked my phone and I called her 11 times yesterday). I also told her that I would always be there for her if she needs me. She knows that and I guess I am comforted by this. She did come to me before. It’s just really hard. I never know what the right thing to do is. I think tuning into this site will be a good thing. Thanks again.. Paula Q.

  • Sharon

    Hi Patrick,

    I am hoping to find some guidance as to where to start!!?? I am trying to help my family who is right across the world (in asia) from me.

    My brother is a drug addict and hs come to the point of being very open and blatant about it. Me and my younger sis has reasons now to believe he’s been an addict for the past 4 – 5 yrs or so. My mum is very nonchalant about it, making excuses for him by stating that he is only smoking grass. Last week, my sis forced my mum to approach him in his room one night, and when she did, my brother just claimed that he is only relaxing, by sniffing ketanin (i think tht’s what he calls it). My mum is in denial, rushed back into her room, stating that if he doesn’t love himself, what can she do?

    What you wrote above about “Assess a Person’s Addiction in Order to Determine the Correct Approach”, how do I know which is him?

    Me and my sis is aware that my brother’s addiction has alot to do with his faulty relationship with our mum. Our dad passed away when we’re young and my brother was affectd by the fact that my mum had to work and not able to spend time with him (he was our mummy’s favourite and still is now, coz she indulges him so much). We can see the drug problem is derived from teh detriotion of thier relatioship over teh years of work(brother works for mum’s business) and my mum’s life partner (brother jealous of this guy).

    I am so lost and clueless as to how to convince the both of them that they do have a problem, that can be resolve?

    How do I even wake them up to smell the coffee, as my mum is obviously constantly sweeping everything under the carpet, adn my brother denies his drug usage is a problem.

    My sis still stays with them, but as for me, being so far away, I calls them quite often to stay in touch. But I since have stopped calling my brother bcoz I just cannot understand why he thinks that I will condoned his bad anger and irrational behaviour, tho he denys using drugs when I asked him. And my voice seems to reminds him even more of his anger towards my mum, so during our calls, he alwasy talks about killing her, which upsets me tremendously. I do suspect if i represents any aspect of a mother bcoz i am 9 yrs older than him, and had to babysit him when mum had to work.

    Thelast I spoke to him was, i told him i disagree with what he is saying and doing. that i thinks that he is talking utter rubbish. That he is selfish and is hurting all of us by what he is doing. When he is ready for me to help him, if he needs it, he know where to call me.

    Now my sis tells me, he thinks that he can come and visit me in UK, with objective of getting some money off me.

    My offer to everyone back home was, don’t bother coming unless you are ready to go into theraphy. Now after reading what you’ve writtne, I’m not too sure if I’ve done right, or made matters worse. Pls help.

  • Sharon

    Hi Patrick,

    Thank you for these words

    “We are motivated by pain, not by the promise of a new life. Think about that when dealing with others….do not deny an addict their pain. It is ultimately what will lead them to change.”

    I think I have found my first step towards a direction. I apologies for not scrolling thru this very long list of messgaes. I guessed i ws too anxious to find a solution when i stumble upon this blog.

    I shall be sharing this site with my sis, hopefully it’ll give her some comfort knowing we’re not alone.

  • Patrick

    Well bless you Sharon, and I’m so glad you found some help on this page! There really is quite a bit here if you dig through it all, but feel free to ask any questions in the comments as well….

  • Betty

    I don’t know where to start. I am scared. My friend is a user of…well just about everything. in his line of work, everything is readily available. Most of the time, people just give it to him so they can be in his company. His co-workers if you’d like to call them that, use as well. When he is at home, his friends use. I have known him for 9 years. We were in a serious relationship for 2 of those years. When we first met, he only smoke marajuana and occasionally used coke. He was such a joy to be with. He was an incredibly talented, loving, kind man. As time went on, I noticed an incline of the coccaine use. After about a year and a half I realized that he was snorting heroin. I only realized this after seeing with my own eyes his using one night. And the effects that it had on him made me realize that he’d used before, and had lied to me as to why he was acting funny. He’d be ironing his clothes and look like he was going to fall asleep mid press. He’d tell me he was just really tired. He’d been on the road for months and the stress and lack of sleep was catching up with him. He’d even had an incident months back where he was hospitalized because of a fall. The injuried could’ve ruined his career. I spent weeks with him taking care of him and nursing him back to health. Now I knew why he’d fallen. At this point I was devastated. He’d lied to me and he now using heroin. Our relationship ended months after that because of the strain of the drug use and of course the miles that seperated us in our long distance relationship. We still kept in touch and still cared for one another. I would see him when he was in town and hear about the escapades. He would be sober just long enough for me to see the man I’d fallen in love with and all those emotions would come flooding back. Years have past and we’ve talked on the phone a few times. Recently I visited him in his home town. Upon ariving, he was in great spirits. We enjoyed each others company for one night and then everything went downhill. He wouldn’t answer my calls, he avoided me in public. He looked like he’d fall on his face at any moment. He wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone. He would just dissapear and re appear in another state of delerium. His friend told me how excited he was that I was in town. But then hours later, they’d take him home and tell me he was in no state to see me. They told me he was embaressed. He didn’t want me to see him like that. As the days past, this behavior continued and I became acutely aware that it’s gotten to the point of severe addiction. And as I think to myself, THERE IS NO ONE THAT SEEMS TO WANT TO HELP HIM!!!! Everyone around him is feeding his addiction. Weither it’s driving him to get it, taking him home and making sure he’s safe, or doing it with him, they are contributing to this. His co-workers are fed up with his level of dependancy, but have they tried to help? I am so terrified that one day, I am going to open the paper and read about his death. Or that his co-workers will call me with the news. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help. I feel useless. I am hundreds of miles away worried that the only man I have ever really loved is going to use his way to the grave. How can I help him? Is there anything I can do? Or say?

  • A Broken Heart

    My boyfriend took off on me last night while I was sleeping,when I called his phone he didn’t pick up.However,he did call me back and told me he was taking a walk….I knew he was lying….
    I drove down to where I know he gets his Cocaine from I finallyn find him and he explains to be that he was THINKING about getting high.I was furious,but should I have been?He didn’t use.This is a man who would use almost everyday and now gets high once every 4-5 months,it’s still doesn’t make it right but I feel like this time I got mad for something that he didn’t do,but was however thinking about it and pulled himself back from it.

    Please Help!

  • Patrick

    @ Betty – Yes I can relate, I was a super nice addict too, so I had lots of enablers around me. You are right to be worried. My only real advice is to encourage treatment for him, let him know that help is available…try to get him to a treatment center. You could also tell him you are going to put some serious distance in the relationship until he makes a decision to stop. But that might not be an option for you, I don’t know. Good luck.

    @ A Broken Heart – Eventually you might have to make a decision: do you want to live in insanity or do you walk away from the relationship? You might also just consider the walking away part, and then see if things change with him in your absence. Sometimes that is just the jolt that someone needs to wake up and make a change in their life.

    Aside from leaving him, there is nothing you can do or say that will convince him to stop using. So you have to decide: are you willing to continue living like this?

    Good luck to you too, I know it is not fair. Addiction sucks, it is never fair to the loved ones…..

  • Marcia

    My mothers day began when my 29 year old som woke me up by putting his wet tennis shoes in the clothes dryer. He had been out all night drinking at a friends house. He found $10 in his pocket so he walked up to the gas station to buy a 12 pack which he drank beginning at 8:30 this morning. I finally had to call the police for help a little while ago when he got upset and was getting in my face and yelling at me. This is the 4th or 5th time I have had to call the police for help and they always tell me the same thing-put him out. I have tried to do that but he only calls his 77 year old grandmother who picks him up and keeps him for a few days before bringing him back. I have tried to put him out but he won’t go. He does not take any of this seriously. The police just talk to him and tell me to put him out or that I should move out. I cannot afford to do that. Does anyone have any suggestions on kicking this child out so that I can have some peace. I cannot take it much longer.

  • Tiffany

    Hi,Hopefully you can help me because I am stuck!
    My mother is a drug addict! She has been a recovering alcoholic for 14 years and has taken 222’s for as long as I can remember! She will take any kind of pill perks, uppers, downers and now she has become addicted to crack as it has become a huge hit back home! My father who does none of these things and just loves her more than anything is turning his head as my mother has threatened to leave him if he brings it up and he can stand the thought of losing her so, he has been pretending that everything is okay but, clearly it is not! My mom thinks no one knows and is in HUGE denial about it! We need to get my dad on board to help her and be open about it but, he won’t! I don’t know how to start here I am stuck in between a rock and a hard place as my little sister is calling me 24/7 asking me to help them because she can’t take pretending that its no happening anymore! My mother has started doing it at work now and is not healthy in the first place. She is going to kill herself if we don’t help her and I can’t stop feeling like I can do something about it even though I know I have to put myself first. We have went through this process before when she got help for drinking I don’t know if my dad can do it again how and where do I start to get her help? Any advice at all would help! Thanks

  • Kim

    Hi Patrick, I am so thankful for finding this site, this is the only one I have found that accually gives true to life information. My boyfriend is an alocholic, we have only been together about 4 months, and I have just in the last month or so realized how serious his addiction is, although his family tried to tell me, he was telling me something else and thought he could just slow down. I unfortantely had to find out the hard way that is not possible. His family has tried to help him his whole life, he has been to rehab a few times, suppost to be going to AA meetings and take his meds he has to help with withdrawels and depression. I did have to give the unltimatum a few weeks ago me or your drinking, I have two kids at home still and I am not going to put them or myself through that. My older son who is 16 has found him passed out numerous times, but the bottom for me was when my son found him passed out in his truck in the driveway. He has been staying with me for last couple months, I was thinking that if he was away from his family a little bit would help, they fight alot and drive him crazy, so drinks more. Well, he says he is going to stop, and he does try and does ok for a week or so, although I know he is still drinking some, wasn’t getting passed out drunk so didn’t say anything to him. I know this doesn’t happen over night, I know he will fall sometimes, it is just so hard to find the fine line where you are understanding and supportive while staying firm and standing up to the bounderies I have set. I have told him I don’t want him around my kids drunk anymore, and he hasn’t since the incident with the truck. I have told him over and over how much I love him and will do whatever it takes to help him get through this, but I can’t do it for him, he has to be the one to do the hard work. As I was reading the different stages, it was him to a tee. He admits he is an alcoholic, and says wants help but his actions show otherwise. I know how hard it must be, I have not ever had to deal with an alcoholic so I am very lost on what to do. He also is having depression problems too though, which scares me, he says that he feels something is missing, like there is a hole inside, he doesn’t know how to explain it and doesn’t know what to do about it, how to fix it or change it. I did ask him if he is willing to get outside help and he says yes. Of course he is hiding his drinking from me now, and that scares me, I don’t want him to push away from he cause I won’t let him drink here. But I have to do what I have to do, my kids are number one and if it means I get my heart broke to protect them then so be it. He tells me how much he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me, I have been clinging to the hope that, that will be enough incentive for him to do this. I am also afraid though that if our relationship doesn’t work out it will send him over the edge, he is so close right now to the egde it scares me. He has been so much more distant and quiet last few weeks. And he won’t open up, he has a wall up that goes on forever. I have been trying very hard to knock it down some, and he has opened up a little bit to me, but last few days he seems to run and open up to other people than me, and that really hurts. If he can’t trust me and be open and honest with me how is this relationship going to work? I am trying to get him to go to his AA meetings at least for now, he lied to me last week, was suppost to go to his meeting and found out today that he never went. If he isn’t willing to take the steps to work on this then there is nothing I can do. I just don’t know how much I can take, I told him I wasn’t giving up on him, and I want so badly for this to work out, he is such an awesome person. He just has to stop the drinking, and he isn’t even mean or anything when he is drunk, he is still the same sweet laid back easy going guy he is when he is sober, I guess if he turned into an asshole it would be alot easier for me to say get out or something. I don’t know, I an so frustrated right now and feel so helpless I don’t know what to do or say, or where to turn to get him more help, if he is true to his word and will get professional help again that may work, but he is going to need counseling too, for his depression and hopefully find the root for his pain, he is in so much pain, it breaks my heart. But I am going to print all of your info out and all the comments so I can read them all. I wonder if I show him your article if that would click anything. Thank you for the info and help, I feel like I am losing my mind, no sleep last night and been crying since last night, I’m losing it …. but I don’t want to give up on him, I want him to get through this….

  • Kim

    Oh yeah I forgot to mention also that he doesn’t have a job right now either, justt been a few odd jobs, which I guess is giving him enough money to support his alcohol he is hiding, and he is soooo stressed out because he can’t find a job around here, talking about moving. So I don’t know where that is going to lead, I guess if he moves that will make the choice for me as far as staying together, cause I can’t move right now. anyway, any help would be appreciated, I am so lost right now ….

  • Marcia

    Tiffany, I think that I understand what you are going through. I finally called a help-line and found an al-anon meeting for tomorrow night. I am planning to go and get some answers. I do know that I cannot change my sons behavior-only my own. I just need to learn what I can do and what I should stop doing to enable him. I would suggest that you call AA and ask them to refer you to a support group for people with similar problems like your mothers. Good luck to both of us!

  • rebecca

    hello I am a ex addict to heroin well i say ex i have only been heroin free for 11 weeks My life as a heroin addict is hard my son is 11 and yes he lives with me me and my husband have been heroin addicts for 9 years i have been in treatment but they would give us meth then that would be it no follow on no nothing my partner held a very good job while i went to collage but the system made it so hard by making us attend every day what do you tell work it also meant he had to tell the doctor then they inform DVLA so in order to come clean you are not aloud a job car or family because they also believe you should not have a child. I have become clean though a good friends support and help remember all the places out they only hold your hand i believe with family and friends you can do it my family are in my life but they dont help us at all since we have been out of work we have no money but people thing now ther are no drugs we should have money but that is not true i would just love now to get out there and get work again what i find hard to understand is that in order to get help you must tell the truth but as soon as you do that you will lose your child even no people find it hard to understand how i still have my child and my answer to that is we are good parents yes we could do better but that is only thought the lack of money my parnter is very skilled so he will be back in work soon but me i want to help addicts or ex addicts to help and support them even friends and family if you have any advice for me how i can help people how and what i can do to educate people this is a love in my heart to help people like me i just lost my uncle on the 11th of may due to a drug over dose 56 and last year my freind only 23 it happens to all ages

  • mike

    hi, my friend nick is only 16 and is in serious trouble in addiction . he does admit that he is an addict but is not willing to get any help! do you have any tips on what to do…… thanks

  • tired mom

    Hello Patrick and everyone else who shares my plight!

    I’ve ust helped him again, took him in and saved him from being homeless. He is 30 and has 3 children from 3 women – lost his menial job, has no real marketable skills, now lost his driver’s license because child support office likes to think they are helping when they suspend driver’s licenses of Dads who can’t make payment regardless of reasons. Now he can’t find a job because most jobs he’d qualify for require driver’s license. The heart of the story is, I would like to believe that I got him to realize that the use of Marijuana has rendered his life unmanageable and that the collateral damage is too great. He agreed to attend NA meetings in town. I give him a ride to those meetings. I have realized that he does not want me to drop him off at the locations. He asks me to stop about a block or so and he gets off my car. The meetings are open to the public but he does not want me to attend. I want to know why he would do that? Also, he has money, and when I questioned him where he got it from, he won’t tell me. He insists on keeping secrets and not being open and forthright. What does this mean? He is currently staying with me but I refuse to give him a key or closet space. He lives out of his boxes because I told him that he was not moving in – this is a short term transitional assistance for him to get his affairs in order. He still yells at me if he does not like what he hears in reference to his messed up life. I am not convinced that he accepts that he has a problem (completely and freely). I also know in order to remedy a problem, one must admit that here is a problem. I think he is attending NA meetings just as a cloak of deception so that he can manipulate me. Am I being too harsh or paranoid? (This boy has robbed me of my life since he turned 12, he put me through hell and continues to do so by emotionally blackmailing me with his children. This is my last attempt to help him without taking him in completely this time. It is clear to him he needs to find a job quickly and move out and I make it a point to remind him everyday.)

    Any suggestions or ideas? Thank you!

  • dil

    I am 31 year sri lankan man and my closest friend aged 37 married with two sons professionally a passenger bus driver drinks considerably.
    He drinks for about 20 years and few months ago doctor has told him suspected to have parkinson’s disease and had ayurvedic treatment. But according to my friend he has not recovered totally. Still the symptoms can be seen. But even before that, he drank regularly.
    He is not good with his mother and one and only sister and he told me that he has given up them because they were trying to change him. He even told me that “do not try to change me or my behaviour” He has told that to his wife also. I tried several times to explain the criticalness of drinking. But he does not listen to me.
    When he is drunken he scolds us with bad words. Actually speaking he does not like to hear the words “Do not drink”.
    But how can I tolerate this? I know the consequences of drinking. How can I look him going to hell day by day? I am so desperate. Sometimes I cry secretly. Sometimes I feel I am going to hell.
    I feel that my friend is hopeless because of his financial problems and health condition. Sometimes he tells me “get away from me and have a good life” But how can I do that? I love him so much more than I do to my own brothers. I treat him like my own brother more than a friend.
    Please help me. I do not have anyone to tell this. I am so desperate…. I feel.
    How can I help him to stop drinking? I wanna help him to give a good life. I wanna see his beautiful life.
    Please help me to rescue him from, danger…..
    Expect your kind reply very soon….

  • His Friend

    Patrick & others – I’m in a hopeful state and wanted to share. Long story short, my friend had a truly awful weekend two weekends ago and really started hitting the bottom again. I convinced him to call his sponsor (from his first attempt at sobriety) and he did. The next day, we had to take him to the hospital, and the next day, we were able to get him into a rehab center for 28 days. He finally admitted he wasn’t thinking clearly, that he needed and wanted help. It’s day 6 and he’s doing ok. He has such a long road ahead of him, but for today, he’s in a safe place with people who can help him. For that I am grateful. I started reading the Alanon book each day to help me and I feel stronger too. Stepping back a while and praying really helped, as painful as it was (I did not talk with him during his 3 day binge, as hard as that was, and only talked to him toward the end when he said he realized he needed help). Thank you Patrick for that advice – step back, pray, and let him feel his own pain. So for today, I pray, for my friend and for all of you struggling with these issues. We must hang onto hope and faith and pray for the best. I know it’s certainly just the beginning for my friend, but for today, I’ll take it as a good start!

  • Dolores

    I need to hear viewpoints/responses to a very important question. I know my son has relapsed with his drinking. His ex-wife would limit visitation with his 2 children, age 10 & 8, if she knew. He is mean and angry with everyone, including them, when he is drinking. He is verbally abusive to his current wife and almost to that level with his oldest child (a girl) when he is drinking. My question: Do I inform the kid’s mother of his relapse? Or hope she finds out soon so the fear and tension will be put to a minimum? I try to “Let Go & Let God” but when it comes to decisions like this with the children, I need to know what is the right thing to do.

  • anonymous

    I have a sister that I live with that is an alcoholic. I don’t know what to do or say that can help her. I have talked to my parents, who have tried talking and reasoning with her, but she won’t listen, and becomes mean when it is brought up. My parents believe that me talking to her can help her realize her problem. You mention that a simple phone call from a family member changed your life. What did this family member say to you, that helped you realized you need to change? I just want to make sure I say the right thing, and put an impact on her changing.

  • Patrick

    @ anonymous – my mother had called me and got upset and basically said “when are you gonna stop doing this to yourself?” It was a rhetorical question at best and I had already been putting my parents through the ringer for years with my addiction.

    For some reason, though, something flipped in my brain at that moment. It was true surrender….and I knew, for certain, that I was going to take a real shot at recovery. I wanted to somehow explain this to her, but I knew that anything I said would be taken as another empty promise. So, I just surrendered, and agreed to seek help. And I am still sober over 8.5 years later….. That was just my moment of truth. It had nothing to do with the conversation at hand….more like a divine blessing if you ask me…

  • Diana

    For those of you enabling an addict remember this: The longer an addict stays in their addiction the harder it is to get out. My in-laws coddled their son into his fifties! He started using as a teen. They did not allow him to fall and invest in his own recovery. They sheltered him, gave him money, allowed him to steal from them, cleaned up after him, covered for him when he beat them, took him in when he walked out of drug treatment because it was too hard, etc. They have both passed away in the past year and now he is facing a life on the streets. Every family and friend has been burned. My in-laws lost so many friends because of this. He’s met new people to help him and within a few weeks he’s out on the street because he EXPECTS them to care for him (do laundry, cook, etc.). With his parents he had a maid (they had money). He has no idea how to care for himself. At this point the only ‘viable’ options HE sees is suicide or jail. Sad. I’m hoping that his parents are seeing what they created by enabling him.

  • james

    i have just been through hell the last 2 years,i live with an addict and have just read your notes about detachment and it is the same as i have just worked out for my self, great site for those trying to help addicts thnaks james

  • chris

    I have been dealing with a family member whos fighting addiction for two years. He has abandonment issues which in return feels abandoned when my family and i try to detach ourselves emotionally. He says when we turn our back on him it makes him feel alone and relapses. What do i do?

  • Sarah

    umm hello i have been with an oc addict for going on two and a half years. i love him very much but it gets difficult. he has been an addict for about a year. i try to understand what he is going through but i have never been addicted or tired the stuff. when i ask he just says that there is no way i could understand because i have never been there. his habit used to be really bad but now it varies. he will be clean for a few days then he “treats himself and does the oc or some other pill. i feel guilty because i have unknowingly become his enabler. i have held a good job for the last 2 years that has paid the bills while he gets and loses jobs. i really do love him but it is getting hard. i miss the man i fell in love with and i want him back.

  • conner

    im addicted to crack i need help

  • http://howcanihelpafamilymember... kathy kremer

    My daughter-in-law is addicted on pain meds, meth and other nerve pills..she is trying cold turkey I am helping her with her detox – I need help to know what to do best

  • Diane

    I have a 34 year old son who has a 3 month old child with a young woman he lives with. She is not the love of his life but decided he would be a father to his child. He holds down a job and struggling with finances and now he is back on the drugs. I am not sure what he is on but I think it is pot and cocaine, plus alcohol. I He has always stated he is in control of it but I see the angry side effect the drugs have. I am very concerned about the child. He adores the child but I am worried as the mother isn’t very knowledgable about babies.
    We have talked about reabilitaion years ago, but found we could not afford it. Is there any help out there for people who don’t have much money? I think he would try for his child’s sake, but won’t be able to afford it.
    Any advice would be appreciated as I have finally reached a time in my life where I am happy but this problem upsets me terribly. I mind the baby a lot and getting very attached. I have other grandchildren and love looking out for them. Please can you help??

  • Pam

    Wow I really needed to find this website. My 22 year old daughter was arrested on Thursday for possession. She has battled her addiction since her mid teens. She came home for help last summer but we soon figured out she was only using us for a place to stay. she was not serious about recovery and would “fall off the wagon” every time she had a car and money. Her father and I tried everything. She is job less and has no insurance. She wasn’t really interested in AA NA or any recovery program she did they for a while because she thought that she would get her car back (we cosigned and since we are paying the payments we took the car). She decided to return to her addict boyfriend and they are now playing the “help us” with recovery cards on his family in Louisiana. Last Thursday they came back to our area for a doctors appt (his workers comp claim) and some how ended up broken down …long story short when my husband was called they needed car help when he got there the police had been called and she was under arrest. We had told her that we would not bail her out of her troubles any more. No money no living with us etc. My spouse and I have refused to help her get out of jail. She has called several times asking pleading for help. We are trying to stay strong but it is so very hard. You are right we can rescue her…right? we are already having to come up with an extra car payment and since we cosigned her student loans we are paying that. I don’t think if she bails out that she will stay in the area. I can’t afford financially or emotional to go through this with her. I know I am her mom and I love her but I just dont think I can help her.

  • a dad

    Diane
    The Salvation Army offers an Adult Rehabilitation Center called ARC. It is a six month or more program and you work a 40 hour week at the store fixing up donated goods. Not for everyone one but as long as you are clean for three days and they have a bed they will take you. I have heard some good things about the program but as any other program the addict has to want to recover. They have locations in several states. I hope this helps. Good luck.
    http://www.satruck.com/

  • Gigi

    I was reading this website, as I am dealing with my ex-boyfriend going through rehab. I was blind to his addiction for the first 6 months of us dating, he never told me about, that he was a recovering addict. The last 6 months I started noticing money missing, and he was being very sneaky with things. I guess I knew something wasnt right, but I was in denial and didn’t want to see anything. When he stole something from my brother, I was enraged! I told him goodbye, and I don’t want to here from you again. He has since then gone to rehab, on his own, he only told me, his parents found out when they called them in for family portion of treatment. He is attending Outpatient Therapy three nights a week and going to AA meetings the other nights. As I metioned before we broke up. He asked me to be his friend through rehab, which I chose to. I have made up rules, mostly to protect myself, because I don’t want to get hurt. I’m not sure how things are going to end, we are just friends now. He wants to get clean and be back with me, he says that I’m the reason why he got clean, he is doing it for himself so I can be in his life. I just hope I made the right choice, but only time will tell I guess!!! Good luck to everyone on here, my heart goes out to you going through this!! I know how it is, and everyone can judge you, but as I say, you don’t know what its like until you have been in my shoes!!

  • Kathy

    Help! My father in law is a diabetic who lives alone and is an alcoholic. We got a call today he’d walked to the bar and was so toasted when he left he fell down in a ditch. This is not the 1st time we’ve gotten calls of this sort with decent head injuries and such (he turn away the ambulance every time). We live an hour away and can’t be there with him all time…What can we do? His drinking has pushed away all of his friends, he’s depressed to the point where you can not even point out the simple pleasures like teh sun being out (he’s going blind b/c of the diabities). Help!! we can’t sit by and watch him slowly kill himself. We will take any suggestions. Thanks

  • Lost Daughter

    I have a 60+ year old mother with a drinking problem. Last year, my sister had to move in to my mother’s house (with 4 kids in tow) and since then, my mother’s drinking has been out of control. I myself am almost 2 years sober. My mom thinks she has her addiction well hidden, but my sister calls me and tells me how bad it really is. I talked to my mother yesterday and expressed my concerns. She flew off the handle and accused me of being ‘judgemental’ and ‘how dare I say she has a problem’…She also brought up the fact that I was a drug addict that drank everyday. Not only does it hurt having my mother sling insults at me, but it also hurts knowing that I no longer have a relationship with her. (She ultimately hung up on me) My question: do I call her any more? Do I wait for her to finally ‘get it’?!? Any advice would be much appreciated.

  • Shirl

    I’ve been so busy trying to get help for my daughter, 27, that I didn’t realize what it was doing to me. Finally I google families dealing with addiction and found out I am not alone. I just called to get an appointment for counseling. I realize, I am not able to help my daughter in my state of mind. I am hurt and angry and keep enabling her. I feel stupid for not catching the sneaky things she does. She says she wants to get help. I have been paying for help for months, years and she continues to relapse.
    Got some good advice from your site. Time for me to detach. I will order the book recommended.

  • Jamie

    I read the article, and I must admit that there isn’t anything there that I have not heard/learned before. I come from a long line of addicts of all sorts, as well as have learned much about addiction throughout my education. My problem is that both of my younger siblings are struggling with addiction. My sister (25 years old) is an alcoholic who has begun abusing prescription meds, along with a few other things recreationally. My brother (22 years old) will do anything he can get his hands on; it started with alcohol and marijuana, then quickly moved to meth and cocaine. He quit using meth all of the time, but still uses it every once in awhile. He is using extasy almost daily. He still lives with my mother, and in the last few months has begun stealing money and medication from her. Very recently I have noticed a decline in my brother’s physical well-being…sores on his body, weird rashes, substantial weight loss, eyes have become sort of sunken in, etc. His attitude towards his family has gone from funny and fun loving to irritable and hateful. I have seen this coming for some time, and have continually spoken to my mother about it…she continues to be in denial and enable his behavior. He has been given a car, cell phone, cash regularly…and he has no job and is not required to work. I have given my mother rehab information that she has yet to look at. Just today I asked her what it would take for her to take this seriously and her response was that she knew something was going on, but she wanted proof as to how serious it is…apparently just the way he looks and the knowledge that he is stealing from her is not enough. I don’t know what to do now. I have very clear boundaries set with my brother, but it seems as if I am the only one, so those boundaries really mean nothing in terms of him getting help or quitting. He is slowly killing himself….both of my siblings are really, and I cannot just let this happen without trying something. I have followed the above recommendations for myself, except for al-anon meetings, but they do no good for my brother when he is surrounded by others who enable him. Does anyone have any advice about how to get my mother to come around, or any resources available? I’d appreciate anything I can get…these are the only siblings I have.

  • Sarah

    I have been reading some of the comments above, this site was shown to me by a friend who has been my rock for the last couple of days. My Fiance in an alcoholic, I suppose I knew it when we started going out with each other, I have been friends with him for a very long time. We love each other so much, and things have been up and down the last year and a half, but he stopped drinking 3 weeks ago, and although it has been difficult for him, he seemed to be doing ok, I didn’t want to quiz him too much on how he was feeling as I didn’t want to seem like I was hassling him. This weekend we were visiting friends and we had a stupid argument that I caused. He wanted to go and buy a few bottles of wine, and I asked him not too, big mistake, he went off and spent the night drinking in a pub, and he has been doing the same for the last 3 days now. I have been such a mess, I haven’t been able to eat properly, i’ve been feeling sick, and I’ve been out of my mind with worry, over things he may do and say, trouble he may get himself into, or damage he may do to himself. He rang me earlier and told me he is coming home, that he loves me. I am now waiting to see if he is on his way home as I type, I will know shortly. I found some of the comments really helpful, and I know I have to look after myself also, but I can’t seem to function at all, maybe the Al Anon meetings that were mentioned are the way to go, I definitely need some support if we are going to get through this, and it will have to be on his terms again if he is going to give up drinking. He admits that he has a problem, and he has tried once and failed, I hope that when and if he tries again he will succeed as I know that we have something worth fighting for.

  • howcanihelphim

    Hi, This is a great website.
    My son, just turned 18 in March. Just graduated from HS in June and today I kicked him out of our home. He has been using drugs (Snorting Ritalin and smoking pot – that’s all I know about) for about 1 year now and he was told by his father and I that he needed to seek outside professional help for his addiction, in order to stay in our home. – NA meetings, outpatient help, counseling, something. We could no longer put up with his self destructive behavoir. He is now an “adult” and needed to start taking responsibility for his actions. He promised that he wasn’t using any longer and I wanted to believe him. Well last night, I had a hard time falling asleep and went to take one of my prescribed sleeping pills (I had 30 of them in the bottle on Saturday). To my surprise, there were only 10 in the bottle – He had taken 20 of them since Saturday! I also “hid” them, knowing that he had his problems and I didn’t want to leave them out in the open. He really had to search my bedroom to find them. After I stopped crying and being angry, when he got up this morning, we spoke, briefly as usual, and I asked him to leave my home. I know that he is 18, but he is still my “baby” and I feel terribly guilty about this. I am a co-dependent person (Mother was an Alcoholic before she died) and have been through this with my eldest child who has now been clean for four years.
    Did I do the right thing?

  • Patrick

    Well I do not know if that was the “right” thing but I am sure many would support your decision. Some would say it is too early to kick him out but I would tend to agree that your decision might get him to recovery sooner than if you baby him. Tough choices and no clear answers. Sometimes tough love kills people. I don’t think this is the case with you though and therefore you probably made an excellent decision in order to move him closer to recovery. He is on a path and it might take a while to get him there. He has to find his way. You made a hard decision and I am thinking it was probably the right one.

    Good job and good luck to you and your son.

  • carmen

    Hi Guys, I thought I was alone until i found this site, well my Husband has been an addict for 10 years, we were dating for two years and married for a month when I found his crack pipe I had no idea, my world was shattered, we have a little girl and I have two kids from another marriage and I have to say that every day is like a contstant emotional struggle and when he relapses I just want to run, but I never do instead I stay and help him to pick up all the pieces again and in the process lose a little bit of me, I dont know what to do anymore he was going to meetings and counelling and was clean for 6months and now its just one relapse after another, and i eventually booked him into rehab and he said also he is not going , he wants to stop but on his terms, Where do i draw the line what about my terms and my life? im lost alone and just plain damn tired, If it werent for God I would have gone insane by now, any one got advice?

  • gertie

    my boyfriend was sober and drug free now, we were really happy. but he thought he was ready to be able to have a few beers and not touch the crack. but its happening more and more and not sure what to do.

  • carmen

    Hi Gertie the same thing happend to me, my husband thought he was stronger than his addiction, he started haveing a few beers now and then and then i noticed where he used to drink one beer it became 6 then 12, then the next thing he was sitting in my garage smoking a joint and have a whole loy os hits of crack, luckily i saw straight away because of the HELL from the past, but he has relapsed on pot twice since then and he doesnt see what the big deal is about the pot, the problem is thats where it all starts, and I dont know what to do any more.

  • Jaime

    I am MARRIED to an addict so it is very hard to Detach when we are living in the same home. He did get help, is on suboxone but frequently has relapsed alot, he will get off the suboxone for a few days and use mostly opiates and xanax. then he will get back on the suboxone. It was about three or four days straight then back to normal for a couple months, now it is at least once a month sometimes recently twice a month. It is affecting my health now because we came so far and things were so much better, failing and constantly relapsing is not acceptable to me anymore, I was used to it, and now that we got past it I can’t deal with it anymore. I am all he has, no family other than more addicts adn I am afraid what will happen to him if we get a divorce, but I feel like I am sacrificing my life and my happiness because I stay stressed out, his actions control MY life. Everyday of my life depends on what he does, I can’t depend on him for anything. He has the best job he has ever had and I am afraid he will lose it now for missing too many days. Its just a mess. I usually know how to handle it but my patience is thin now, but I DO love him still, will all my heart and it’s hard.

  • carmen

    I know your pain Jaime, thats the exact emotions that I feel its like your just fed up, you put so much energy and time into there recovery and they relapse and its like your time and energy were for nothing, Its like where is your life , they still carry on like nothing has happend but for us every time they step out that dfoor your nerves are wrecked, the questions fly around your head and by the time they are back with a smile on there face you are a NERVOUS WRECK!!!! its life consuming

  • His Friend

    Well, my friend has had his ups and downs, but I’m writing to give a piece of advice to all of you out there struggling with an alcoholic in your life – go to Alanon! I started reading the literature in May, started attending meetings (in person and online) in June, and I’m feeling so much better!!! – even though, yes, my friend still goes through drinking and dry spells. Alanon is about taking care of yourself, whether or not the person in your life is drinking. It’s about admitting that YOUR life has become unamanageable because of the alcoholic in your life, and WE are powerless and need to take care of ourselves and stop putting so much focus onto the alcoholic. It’s been an AMAZING experience for me, so please consider it if you’re struggling. You need to take care of YOU. You cannot “fix” your alcoholic. Prayers for all.

  • dorothy

    My ex husband was/is an alcoholic and now I have to come to terms with the fact that my only son is an addict too. He could not wait to leave home when he finished school. He was taking ecstasy alot with his flatmates and got into heaps of debt and trouble with the police for dui. He came home and seemed to straighten out, but it seems that he has turned to alcohol. He has left home again six months ago and has been lying and lying about his finances, scamming money of me, and now has ‘lost’ his car..says it was stolen, the debt collectors are phoning us at home, and he has unpaid fines coming in. I cant deal with it – my heart is breaking and he wont return my calls etc. I want to go to his flat or workplace and just find out where his mind is – but after reading this info above I guess thats the wrong thing to do. I have his much loved,(or used to be) expensive drum set here that I plan to sell to raise the money to pay the debts. I can not pay any more myself. I hope that will make him see the consequences of his action. The guilt and anxiety at what I now know to be the start of a long journey for us both is horrible. I will go to the Al Anon meeting – I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do..and I have to get strong myself as I have a business and people to care for.

  • rebecca

    i have been with a man for 8 years. We seprarated for 2 years and in that time he became an acholoic. We have been back together for 3 years and were getting married but his drinking got worse. I have tried to tell him that i don’t like him drinking and he was good about it for awhile. But as time went on one guys night turned to two then three etc etc. He says he has gotten better because while we were apart he woke up to jack daniels and now he just has some beer. I dont know what to do. I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him but i can’t if he continues to drink. His mother and brother are acholics and give no support but actually incurages him to drink. I am the only person in his life that is trying to help him see his problem and i hate it. It has made me the bad guy. Controlling etc etc. We have seprated and i moved to my own place. We want to work things out but he has still drank. I told him last night that i can not be with him if he drinks. He said he will try not to. Is it wrong for me to have said this and to have said i can not hang out with him til he has sobered up?? He has no support so will taking mine away help or only make it worse?? PLEASE HELP ME

  • Todd

    I am recovery addict myself ,I have been sucessful in helping other’s .contact me if you want your life back.

  • carmen

    Todd can you help the ppl that have to look at there addict every day, when do u start believing they want to get better?

  • Michael

    Patrick,

    Thank you for writing about helping an addict, and as well for your personal story–I read both. I think it really helped me.

    In March of this year, a friend suddenly started acting strangely. By the middle of March he wasn’t returning phone calls or notes left to his door. Then things started getting crazy. I found out later that he had been doing drugs and was bi-polar and had had at least one manic episode.

    The whole situation left me shocked and saddened because I cared about my friend. When I was reading through the various scenarios about when people are ready for help, I realized at one point my friend had told me he was stopping drugs and going into rehab. To be honest until that point, I didn’t realize how bad it was for him. He never told me much.

    Today I’m trying to move on with life. My friend was in hospital (I found out) and then was released and I never heard from him. I’m not mad at him, but I realize now that he was keeping things from me. I’m not even sure if we had the friendship I thought we did. All I know is that I miss him.

  • Mama

    I am th adult child of an alcoholic. My mother stopped drinking for 10 years. Then after being hurt on the job became addicted to pain medicine and evetually died last year after a septic shock to her body. Her addiction took over her and our relationship for a few years before her passing. I had helped her when she was revovering during her AA days and once her drug addiction took over, there was nothing I could do but to watch her kill herself. I truly miss her and know there was nothing I could do since she had to done it herself. Now I am faced with my sons addiction.
    He has been smoking pot for a bit and now he is into other stuff. I am not quite sure what, but from my going through his phone (after he left our car sitting in a parking lot with an open can of beer, his phone and the car unlocked) I felt I was able to look through his texts to see what the heck was going on. Something about pills…when I notice his erractic behavior of sweating, slurring and stupidity, I am concerned. My husband and I have confronted him and of course he denies everything and thinks we are crazy. My husband is back to placing boundaries in his life and I am beside myself with guilt and I dont know what to do. He is slipping down the slope and and I am falling apart……

  • http://addiction mary

    hi, my sister was an addict and alcoholic we just met her she was adopted when she was a baby shes 23 she was clean 8 months, but she got a boyfriend who dose drink and drugs, she promised she wouldnt drink or take drugs any more she also attended aa and na meetings, but the other day i met her in the steet very drunk and its really affeting me now i really need some advice im only 16 and i know i shouldnt have this worry and stress on my back its hurting so much looking at this. i havnt seen her around anywhere its really rattling my brain can u hel me?

  • Patrick

    @ Michael – yeah I think you had a friendship, he is just being mixed up by the booze. Hopefully he will come around. So sad. Keep hope.

    @Mama – not a lot you can do other than offer to help him and put your foot down so that you do not enable him. Of course when you push too hard then it isolates them from you and that is not good either. It is a no win situation. Let him know you will help him if and when he decides to quit the drugs.

    @Mary – You are awful young to have to deal with this sort of thing, I would steer clear of it if you can and encourage your sister to get help. She is going to have to find her own path, it is unlikely that she will listen to you or anyone else for that matter.

    There are organizations you can go to for help. Find an Alateen meeting. If you can’t find one, go to an AA club and ask them to direct you to one.

  • Nicolle

    I have recently broke up with my addict. I have been dealing with this for 2 1/2 years with him, we have tried everything, a year and a half ago he went to a 60 day residential treatment facility and since then has not had more than 3 months clean at a time. Recently his “falls” have been more frequent and bigger. I can’t do it anymore and told him to move out. I don’t know if it was the right thing for him and I love him with all my heart but I need to love myself too. He has all the resources and tools to get clean, my question is,…
    Don’t you think it is a choice they make to use after being clean even for two weeks? It’s not something that controls them at that point is it? His drug of choice is crack.

  • arianna

    I need help and this is my first start i dont know much about this but i need help i have a brother who needs help

  • http://thespiritualriver Annabell

    Patrick,
    Thank you for this site. It is the kind of information I was looking for. My boyfriend is a beautiful loving person. He recently made the comment that he is a “functional alcoholic”, I believe he is a “barely functioning alcoholic.” Considering how happy he could be if he wasn’t drinking. He has suffered some great losses in his life and believes I will be added to that list of losses. I love the person beneath the alcoholic and don’t plan on leaving as long as I can stay detached in love when he is drinking. I am not sure how to finacially split the bills so that I am not contributing to his alcoholism. I think I will put away into savings the exact amount he spends on alcohol, and cigarettes. He has taken in his deceased girlfriends children and has one of his own who’s mother has recently passed away (every women he has been with has passed away). I feel as though he would like for me to pick up the parenting where he falls short (which is his distance when drinking which is quite often.) I care deeply for the girls are 15,17, and 18. Do you think just being present for them is enough or should I push myself to communicate with them more? I’m not sure they understand fully the deepth of which their father. and father figure, has fallen into alcoholism. I have said very little to him, his mother says plenty for both of us (his father and brother died from alcoholism). When he made the remark to me about being a functioning alcoholic I only said that I worry about his body not being able to handle the amount of alcohol he puts into it , and that I would miss him if anything were to happen to him.
    Any thoughts that you can give me would be helpful especially on how to discuss/not discuss his alcoholism with him or his children would be appreciated.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Annabell

    It sounds like you hesitate to bring up his alcoholism directly with him. I don’t know much about what you can say to the kids, and I don’t necessarily have any magic words that you can say to him either. I think you should get help yourself so that you can better deal with the whole situation. You can do this by going to Al-anon and sharing with the people there. You might learn how to set some boundaries and thus be able to demonstrate to him that he is not a functional alcoholic.

    I thought I was functional too. But I did have some enablers in my life and I was spinning out of control. He is in the same boat I think. His health might be failing him and that is a big loss of control right there. He just might not see it coming is the problem. So I would go to Al-anon and learn what you can from them and see if they can help you determine how to set boundaries with him and how to approach him with those boundaries.

    Good luck.

  • Dawn

    Hello Patrick,
    My boyfriend of 5 months relapsed this weekend. I had no idea he was an alcoholic. It was awful to watch and I was very confused, felt helpless, as I had no clue he was an addict as he was never honest with me about it. Luckily during his relapse of 4 days this wkend he told me to call a support buddy of his. His support friend took him down to the rehab to detox. In the past I have been occasionally drinking with him on the weekends and he showed no sign of an alcoholic. He would have a couple drinks and be completely fine and stop until the next time we went out. Apparently, the last few times he relapsed it was over a breakup, not making enough money….stressful times. His way of relapsing is binge drinking for 3-5 days and then he’ll go into a rehab to detox. He’ll be sober for months and then have another relapse. He told me the problem was that he thought he could have a few drinks and he wasn’t going to AA, as he should have been. His relapses have happened quite often from what I found out. The last time he relapsed was a month before we met, so 6 months ago. I’m very confused on how I should handle the situation. I want to support him and was wondering what you suggest I do to support him? He tells me that he can’t keep doing this to himself. He’s 34, wants a family and wife. He recognizes his problem and what it does to the people he loves and what the consequences are if he continues to do it. He agrees that he can’t pick up a drink again, that he should go to AA one or two times per week and that he needs to find another way to deal with stressful situations. I know I can’t nag him about going to meetings and about drinking. I know he has to do it on his own and I have to trust that he will. I also said that if it happens again that I probably wouldn’t be so supportive cause it’s not fair to me. He gets out today and I figured I should have a talk with him, let him know what I expect and he should tell me what his plan is to stay sober. Do I tell him what I expect from him and then don’t ever bring it up again and hope that he sticks with it? I don’t know, I’m confused. What do you think? What should I expect out of him and what should I do if I catch him slipping if he ever does?
    Thank you,
    Dawn

  • Angelica

    Hi
    Thank you for this article it helped me understand a bit more of what my ex is going through. He is an addict of weed, alcohol, and of recent cocaine. Hes desperatly unhappy with his life and has reached out to me. Im trying to do research and find ways affective in helping him. Right now hes in the willing to change but only on his terms. So please help with more advice i still care for him and just want to see him well. I know hes capable of so much more in life.

  • Valentina

    Hi Patrick,

    I am currently in a relationship of 4 months with a heroin user. I found out about his use about 2 months into the relationship. After finding out, he has told me time and time again that he wants to stop. He went through w/d and got on Suboxone. Come to find out, after a couple weeks, he was back to using. After that he promised he was done and was going to make a change in his life. Just last week I caught him using again. He broke down and said that he wants to stop and is going to find a plan that works for him. He decided to try going to a Methadone clinic. After two days of that he said he didn’t think that is the best solution and he just needs to suck it up and detox cold turkey. He tells me that once he goes through the pain of detox he won’t want to go back to using, and that the only reason why he stays on the drug is to prevent the w/d symptoms…Suboxone and Methadone are just going to prolong everything. He has agreed to start seeing a counselor/therapist and would like me to attend NA meetings with him for support.

    I have stuck by his side these past 2 months, he has lied to me about his use, done it behind my back after endlessly telling him to just be honest.

    Deep down I know he feels like a prisoner to his own addiction but it is hard to hold onto hope when I have been lied to so many times. He wants to detox this weekend cold turkey. Check into a hotel room (3-5 days), leave his phone and money at home so even if there is temptation, he wont be able to get it. He says he is going to take it serious this time and that the times before he just wasn’t really ready to stop yet.

    I do have hope left in him, but it’s hard to hold on. His addiction has defiantly taken a toll on our relationship and I am working on knowing that I can not do anything to control his actions when it comes to addiction. He is such a great guy that is caught up in a vicious cycle, but I think to myself, when is enough enough? I am 24 and don’t want to have a life that includes drugs. I have told him that I want to be there for him and support him, and be with him but I will not allow the drugs to be a part of my life.

    Any advice?

  • Patrick

    Hi there Valentina

    Sounds like he might need some space. I would encourage rehab as well. Tell him you will wait for him if he leaves to go get help. Tell him that he has to give sobriety a chance. Detoxing alone in a hotel room is not a great recipe for success, but I suppose it might work. Better is going to rehab. Why not get help from the professionals?

    P.S. I have seen much better results with Suboxone than with Methadone, but neither one is a magic pill that will fix everything.

  • Laurie

    My husband has relapsed 5 times since July, how many relapses can I live through…he’s fine one day and not the next….he’s pawned most of our valuables, his phone, our kids Wii… At what point do I give up, kick him out, what???? Everytime he leaves the house I wonder if he’s coming back that night..

  • Grace

    Thanks for making this! my boyfriend is addicted to drugs and its really messing him up, ive tryed and tryed to help him but it only makes him angry at me, its really sad cuz hes such a great guy and i dont know wut to do :( but ill try taking ur advice, thanks

  • Monica

    I just want to say that this is a great website. I just found out that my boyfriend is doing drugs occasionally as he calls it. I know in the past he has done several of the hard drugs (oxycontin, etc). I dont konw if he is addicted or doing it for fun but i do know that when he gets a little extra cash he will spend it on drugs. I dont want to end up trapped in a bad situation but he has spoke before in a joking manner that drugs felt so good, and that why did they have to be wrong, etc. so I know he does not personally want to stop. I think it is only his circumstances making him not do them often. (no money) Do you think this is the start of him getting worse and worse on drugs, and should I leave now so that he will not have me as a crutch for his happiness. I want him to see quickly that drugs are bad and will lead to his destruction and not these wonderful pills that he has them pegged as. His mother just recently passed away so I dont want to kick him when he his down. Thanks again for the site, i am learning alot.

  • Amanda

    Monica,
    My husband and I are in the same situation. His mother passed away three years ago after, a long battle with cancer. He is the only and child. He has become, addicted to prescription meds and alcohol. we have been married for almost five years and I can honestly say the last three has been really bad. He stopped drinking for a year, but still took the pills. I was in denial about his problem and so was he. Then it finally came to a head the other night he became, really angry and hurt himself. We are currently trying to get him in to a unit to detox. Just remeber I know how you feel and he will use this as an excuse. Don’t let yourself get into a situation like mine. I love my husband and this is the very last straw if he doesn’t stick to the help then I will have to leave. If he doesn’t get off them now it’s sounds like he won’t. I hope I have helped in some way!!!

  • LIKE-A-MOM

    help! I cant find any information to help me. I have someone elses teen children. They are children of adicts. They are drug free & alchohol free. I want to help them go from where they are to successful adults, but I do not have experience with addition. What are the top 5 things I need to know to parent these teens?

  • Liz

    My son has been alcoholic/drug addict for 16 years, since he was 16 years old. The lying, manipulative behavior began early and progressed. We had hope that he would get his life together, and didn’t really own that he was an addict until about 2 years ago. This came about when he was incarcerated for the second time—DUIs, stealing, driving without license or insurance, etc. He was so smart that he passes his GED at 99 percentile and immediately was offered a full scholarship into a major university. Unfortunately, after 2 months, he relapsed on pain medication. Now he’s in prison again, in a court-ordered prison rehab facility. While in the first days of this round of jail time, his 2 best friends (girlfriend and male friend) were found dead of an overdose in his home. This seems to have shocked him into reality—now, over 8 months later, and after begging the judge to put him in the rehab, he seems to be “talking the talk”, surrendering to his God, eager to prove he can be a new person. I am learning about detachment, and my heart aches as I learn exactly where the line is between enabling and supporting. So my first question is, do you have insights into where that line is? Also, when he gets out of prison next summer, how do I help him so as not to be enabling? How can felons get jobs these days? Are there organizations or agencies that can help the person? What behaviors will indicate he is “walking the walk” instead of just talking? We are thousands of miles away from him, and he has no relatives close by. Just looking for some guidance here…thanks!

  • Patrick

    Hi there Liz

    The line between helping and enabling is not easy to find in every situation. A general rule might be this though:

    Do not do anything for the addict that they could do for themselves if they did not use drugs or alcohol.

    That is a clunky definition though and of course if he is now living clean and sober then you probably need more guidance than that. One way to get that guidance is to go to Al-Anon meetings and share your story and get specific advice. Good luck!

  • Eva

    Patrick,
    Firstly, congrats to you in your success.

    My brother 24 years old and currently in the car with my parents driving to Colorado to an alternative treatment center that is up in the mountains. (Not a twelve step). He has been an addict for 10 years. He mostly recently has been taking OC, pot, Suboxon, and xanex. 3 months ago he wanted to quit. My parents didn’t know if a 3rd treatment center would work (he doesn’t seem to take to it) so he basically went through with drawl at their home guided by weekly visits to the doctor. Two weeks of withdrawal were devastating to him physically and mentally.

    Long story short, he is using again. He has days that he is sad and just wants to quit and be “normal” and stop using anything. Then when he is under and influence, he says he is fine and doesn’t have a problem and he can smoke pot and just do OC every once in a while.

    He has admitted to being scared of what happens after treatment. How can he find a job with a criminal record? What if he wants to use again?

    I hope that those moments of wanting to stop all of this are enough to win over his addiction and benefit from treatment this time.

    I’m going to an Al-anon meeting this weekend. This is such a consuming disease! I continuously tell my brother that I love him and I will be supporting him and fighting for him.

  • HOPE…I’LL NEVER GIVE UP ON HIM

    NEVER GIVING UP..

    My boyfriend has a drug addiction…i have tried so many times to get him to understand that he should stop…he does understand he has a drug addiction and he wants to stop but he just doesn’t know how…i really want to help him ..but i just don’t know how to start…i need help…i would really appreciate if someone can e-mail me and let me know how to start helping him…i was actually helping him get out of it like 3 to 4 months ago..he did stop doing drugs for about 2 weeks but he when back to them once more..and now he just let me know that he tried some other substance…and i really wanna help him..he tells me that he does it when ever hes feeling sad, or alone…or when ever he doesn’t have anyhthing to do…please if someone can help …please

  • Stephanie

    hi….
    i have a girlfriend who i have been dating for 2 months. she is an addict who is now recovering for now 2 months. She is been relapsing for the past 2 years. she always gets some time clean and then relapse. She tells me all the time.. she doesn’t want to go back to the lifestyle she had. She goes to NA meetings and has a sponsor who helps her get through a lot of times.. but her sponsor is also dealing with a boyfriend who’s still in active addiction. My girlfriend says she doesn’t feel so into her recovery as before.. and says the only things that keeps her away from getting high are her mom, her niece , nephew and me. She knows that if she gets high… she wont come back and a lot of the things we want to do together will get destroyed.. because she knows that if she goes out and get high.. she wont make it back. Her life story is very long.. and lately she is been struggling a lot… but she says she wont act on it. But im scare she can relapse again….She just started to work at a new job.. and everyone there gets high . and this Saturday she was invited to a party where they said everyone is doing Ecstasy.. and even tho we are gonna be together that day…. im scare one day she actually will give in…. I really don’t how what to do or say every time she struggles… like she is been doing lately… specially because i live 2 hrs away from her. and i have never do any type of drugs in my life. i try to read articles addiction so i can understadn her … but i feel i never have the right words…. what should i do? how can i help her? should i go to ala non meetings????

  • Caceres

    Silvermoon
    you are in a very difficult position. I’ve been where you are and I understand. You have to take a stand and make your friend understand where you are at…then (difficult) you have to maintain your stand. You might loose your friend, or the shell he currently is. Or you may get him back. It is a gamble. A big one. Possibly the hardest choice you will ever make in your life and you as a person may not gain out of it. But think. What is more important. Your friendship, or the fact your friend might just get a clue and pull himself out of it. He may never forgive you for giving him the push, quite likely actually. But he lives, and not just that he goes on to have a life he is proud of. You know the right answer already, you just have to be willing to take the step and always be there but in the right way. That is what is being a friend to an addict is. Lonely yes, no fun well obviously no. But you have no choice if you truely care for the person. Step away. Maintain the line, give support. Take comfort in the fact you may just have a chance at helping him save his life. Good luck x

  • kris

    Hello,
    I really need some advice. I have a 28 year old brother who we have finally come to realize has a very serious alcohol and drug problem. His girlfriend left him and his 2 year old son. She basically has won custody and my brother only gets to see his child on Saturdays, with supervised visitation. The chapperones are currently my parents and my sister. My brother has no drivers license, works occassionally, and is behind on child support, all because he drinks too much and is too hungover the next day to make it to work. I am trying to encourage my parents to attend Al-anon as they are retired, and I truly believe they will learn to cope with his addictions, but mainly I hope that they will see themselves as enablers. They recently paid my brothers child support for him, they drive my brother every Saturday to the “meeting spot” to pick up his son, and they even pay for the gas, but they don’t see themselves enabling, they don’t mind doing this because it allows them to see their grandchild. I think they need to stop all of this and when my brother goes without seeing his son, then maybe he’ll attempt to turn his life around. Am I wrong for thinking this? Any advice would be appreciated…

  • Patrick

    @ Kris – I think that you are probably right in your thinking, that your parents are a bit enabling.

    But it is not an easy thing to force on your parents, either. They are dealing the best they can, too. Addiction just sucks. You can’t force your brother to change and you might not be able to change your parents either. I would try to communicate earnestly with your parents about it and then seek support for yourself.

    I hope your brother “sees the light” soon…..

  • http://yahoo.com johanna

    hllo peoples sry bout drugs!

  • Marie

    I found a wonderful dogsitter 8 months ago, and she gradually became a friend. At the time I didn’t know it but she was in a “dry” period after 13 years of alcoholism. A mutual friend told me two months ago the day my friend fell off the wagon. I have worked with and known depressives, and also others with alcohol problems, but this lady is more ill than any other alcoholic I have yet known. As soon as I realised the extent of my friend’s problem, and started seeing how it was affecting her and her family, as well as chasing away other friends and clients, I resolved to not walk out on her but to do my best to be a continuing presence in her life. Last week I went to my first Al-Anon meeting and shall make it a regular thing. My friend appears to fall into the “change on her own terms” category. I am already doing quite a lot of what is advised both in your article and in the replies to some of the readers’ situations. I am used to the concept of keeping a certain distance with people with severe problems, but in my life am still learning to do so ALL the time in practice. I have already built up a certain amount of openness with this friend and whilst I know there is a lot she is still not telling me, I am finding that she will be fairly open with me a lot of the time. I am working on building a level of trust so that she will accept that when I need to put distance between us, that it is only for the times when I feel (and she knows) that she is in a place where I cannot help her and she cannot help herself. And so that she knows without doubt that it is because I love her, not because I am horrified or disgusted by her. I am taking this day by day because I have assured her that when I feel that I need to change any agreement – such as, if she is to look after my dog, or even if I am to go to see her on any given day – I will sit down with her and we will discuss the situation. And currently her degree of functioning is varying day by day.
    The first question I was asked at Al-Anon was: why am I wanting to keep being her friend? That threw me at first until I realised that they were not condemning me for it, but were more inviting me to look deeper into myself and see what it was that I needed in this. One of the other members identified at once one issue and said that she could see that I had known this friend as a friend BEFORE knowing that she was also an alcoholic and before she fell off the wagon this latest time.
    At the moment I am feeling that if I can maintain some form of “trust” with this friend, she will eventually see that there is a way forward for her if she can only make up her own mind to relinquish the crutch of the alcohol that she has spent so many years clinging to. I am not falling into the trap of doing a lot of things for her nor pandering to her, but others around me know that I have done this in the past and are concerned that I may be drawn into repeating a recurrent pattern, although I feel that I have learned a great deal from previous failures and that this is helping me to stand back much better in this instance. However, I know that I need Al-Anon input and support because alone, I will not be strong enough to maintain the strength I currently feel.
    My main worry is: how far should I continue to be actively caring of this lady, or should I be starting to look at the “cold-shouldering” approach that other friends of hers have taken?? My theory is that if I can give her reasons to see that there can be a fulfilling Life without Drink (I am not a drinker and can take or leave a glass of wine any time, even with a meal), she may come to realise that she no longer needs to use the drink to make her into the confident person she thinks she is or thinks she wants to be. I am currently using activity – things to take her mind away from wine – but others have apparently used both social interaction AND the other extreme which is basically dumping her while she is drinking, and neither extreme has worked to keep her “dry” for any length of time.
    This lady has also been in rehab twice and has still returned to the alcohol.
    I feel quite alone in this still at the moment, despite Al-Anon.
    Does anyone with experience of a friend, as opposed to a relative or partner, and who did not give up on that friend, have any guidelines for me as to which way to pursue it from this point on???

  • Marie

    I am posting my own update after spending the time since my last post, reading EVERY single comment and reply on here. And already I have the answer to one of my quandaries. I can recognise that I am in fact being too enabling, despite what I had thought. I made a shortlist of the few most salient “rules” and right at the top, is this one: I must allow my friend to feel pain before I can expect her to be ready to truly want to change.
    It is like a vicious circle though. She drinks to stifle the pain she feels but of course by drinking, she is creating more pain, for both herself and others. Ultimately, this lady is going to die because of her addiction, if she cannot feel the right kind of pain SOON that will wake her up to what she is doing to herself.
    Patrick, I liked the insight on what your mother said to you that just suddenly ‘spoke’ to you at that moment and I think I can see why it did.
    I have also allowed – enabled – my friend to lapse for the moment from AA. I can see where I can step back from this and enable her to need their input again. I have read a lot about AA and have a personal issue with the naming of the Higher Power in the 12 steps, but I have already for the last two weeks been working on accepting this in the concept and terminology that I personally can take on board.
    I am planning to continue to try to maintain the same level of contact with her in terms of her current openness with me over what she is doing but am also aware just how many other people in her surroundings are also unknowingly enabling her to not feel any pain at all. There is also the issue that many of these people are unaware of her problem.
    In the medium term I can see how I can work towards removing some of the “safety” from her life so that she can feel the pain more than she is doing at the moment. I just still don’t want to give up on her but nor do I want to let MYSELF down, which I will be doing if I ever allow HER to take control and manipulate ME. Yes it does sound harsh; but I can see how necessary this is. I have already seen manipulative behaviour and it has so far strengthened my resolve to be strong for ME first and foremost. (one example being where she wanted to cry on my shoulder just before she knew I was going to the Al-Anon meeting…I let her talk for a few minutes; I gave her a hug and told her I cared about her but that I still had to go to the meeting BECAUSE I cared, and because I needed to, for both me and for her – and I walked out and went.)
    I am still of the opinion that I should continue to talk openly with her about what I see and how I feel. If I am wrong in this, please would somebody advise me? but what I am feeling, is that this is a human being and she has the right to be a part of any decision I make as to my dog being cared for by her, or even my continued presence in her life and the degree thereof. I will not suddenly pull the rug from under her but aim to talk to her about my reasons for any decision I make. And I am aware that she will try to rationalise with me at each step of this; and this is where I know I shall need the support of Al-Anon and anyone else who has more experience of this than I have.
    This message board has been extremely helpful to me today.
    At the end of it all I do sometimes feel that there is not a lot of hope; but I know I should not despair and I also know that no matter what comes of this friendship and my current role in this lady’s life, there is a reason why I am in this position right now and it might not even be the reason of helping her, but of me finding MYSELF in my own life.

  • unknown

    My boyfriend has a bad drug addiction problem. And he is willing to change for me and for his family. I am always their for him but emotionally im getting stressed out day by day. I dont want to lose him. It ki

  • http://htmlyahoo.com linda shults

    I have a friend that has been alcohol free for 35 years and relapsed a few days ago. I want some comments on; person to person now, reassurance, right now, today AND NOT before you get drunk, places too go for treatment, the same old advice a alcoholic already knows. What I’m trying too explain, which is not that easy for me, a
    Momentarily thought, we’re on your side, a right now at the moment conversation. NOT you go there do this, you have too do that, you can’t do that, stay away frm, the same ole sht I get from all the sites and we already know. AA is the answer, that’s another one…that’s all I can find. What the hey? Yahoo, FB, Google, IGoogle, Google Earth, My Space all of them it seems , giving me the identical information. Again, beating addi or taking care of addi, need to go there or here, what you do after you relapes, what you do before etc. Sorry, but I’m repeating some things because I am sooooo frustrated…..I need right at the moment conversation w/my friend. The comments from an addict to another addict that has just relaspsed, right then and there….. No referals…God do I have too go on about this? You do/finially get it, right? Geezzzzzzzzzzzzz! I’ve been on this thing all dm day searching for anything, something that remotely comes close too what I’m wanting. Help! :-(

  • jesse

    hey its me i have been great sense my last time on here my life is doin alittle better but nothing changes over night but this pass week i went to see my ex the one i loss because of drugs and my problems with them and i told about my problems with drugs and told her that i was off them and it is hard very hard because of all the temp. out there and she just blew it off with a yea right attitude it hurt cause she said that im only off them cause i cant find them it made me feel so small dont really mean to bring my prob. here but jus wanted to tell someone

  • Theresa

    Hi, I need some advise. My son is 23 and just got thrown out of rehab, he had 3 days left, they said he was talking to a girl in there.He went to a halfway house and that only last 2 weeks, he said someone stole money from him, they say he refused to take a drug screen. I will give you alittle background, he got put in jail for failing a drug screen with probation, while he knew he gets drug screened every week he still did it. He went to jail, then right to rehab..Since everything fell through he has been back at my house doing nothing, no job, no car and lies all the time. This week I found a small amount of weed in his room, that he claims he just found, 2 days later I found a crack pipe in my living room in a soda can, he says its not his…I pay for everything (all his bills and fines) I drive him everywhere (probation, job interviews etc) he will not go to a meeting, or get off his butt.. He may have finially gotten a prt time job this week, but when I found the pipe I told him to get out of my house I was thru…I feel so guilty, I can hardly think..He has been putting me thru crashing cars, stealing from me, lying, getting locked up, etc) since he was 17…he is now 23 and I can take it…did I do the right thing? we have no family left, he will be on the street…

  • Theresa

    ***Sorry Advice

  • Patrick

    Theresa – it sounds like you need to take care of YOU now. Put some distance in between you and your son for a while. Tell him that YOU need time. Because you really do. Put yourself first for while and do NOT feel guilty. It sounds like he needs to bang his head against the wall a few more times before he “gets it.” Good luck.

  • Robert

    Hi Patrick;
    I could use some advice. My wife and I are married many years. Early on, I never recognized her alcolholism as quite frankly I enjoyed to party also and was drawn to her ability to have a fun time.
    Well, now I have had her in rehab twice, she was sober for a little over two years and started drinking again thinking that she could manage it this time (I also did not help this as I was not stopping the behavior hoping that the fun person I married would come back). Well, you can sort of predict what happened. Her drinking has progressed. In the past year she has received a DUI, has been drinking during the day (not every day) and has injured herself now three times (broke her hand falling out of a car, cut open her chin and recently broke her fibia falling down the stairs). All while very drunk. I feel exhausted and have become lost in our relationship. Worse yet, our young son is growing up with an alcoholic mom. I could use any advice you may have on my situation. I have been to a few (but not many or regular) Alanon meetings, but I am more concerned about my son. I do not know which is worse, having him grow up with an addicted parent or divorce. I love my wife, but all the energy and life in our relationship has been sucked out of me.

  • Theresa

    Thank you for your response. Of course I didn’t sleep a wink last night wondering where he was and if he was alright. Again I feel so guilty, one part of me says stand strong, as I told him not to contact me at all, until he got his act together, the other part of me thinks I should do anything to get him help, but I have done that many times…I think he is old enough to realize he needs help, and he can get it on his own or straighten himself out without leaning on me to do it??

  • Theresa

    Update: My son has been gone since last Wed. I recieved a text message from him on Sat afternoon stating “I’m not dead in case you care” and have not heard a word since…I thought he was possibly at his Dad’s but he has not seen him either. Now I feel really guilty, what if something has happened to him, or on the other hand, maybe he is staying with a friend and is getting his act together…I would like to think the last statement, but I don’t hold out hope…

    Am I wrong feeling that if he is out on the street doing bad things, It’s my fault or should I just realize that if he is, it was his choice??

  • Theresa

    Sad Update: Today is Thursday, I recieved a letter from probation that he has failed to report and his last drug screen came back +. he swears its wrong, blah, blah…He goes to court tomorrow for VOP for failing a drug screen prior to him going to rehab. I think he will be in jail for a long time. So sad, 23 years old, nice looking, almost finished college, and these drugs are doing this to him..

    I am so depressed over this, and I simply cannot go to court with him and watch him get taken away..

    Does it ever get right???? EVER?

  • mike

    My wife drinks constantly from the time she comes home to the time she passes out. When we go out (which is not often anymore) she drinks to point of becoming an embarrasement. I have three children with the youngest still at home. The youngest has told her about being embarrassed in front of her friends. I have talked to her about her problem but she denies it and becomes combative. I am at wits end and dont see our marriage lasting much longer. Suggestions?

  • Patrick

    Hang in there Theresa

    It can and does get better. It might take a long time but he will figure this out eventually. He might be in jail at the time of course. Sometimes we have to keep banging our head into the wall for a while before we get it.

    I was the same way.

    Have hope.

    @ Mike – go to an Al-anon meeting and share your situation with them. They can give specific advice and suggestions.

  • Anonymous

    hi :)

  • Theresa

    Hi Patrick and thank you for the kind words. New update:
    Tonight i will see my son for the last time, he had to go to cort last week, and is getting sentenced tomorrow.
    The offer he got was 5 years drug court, or 270 days in jail with 66 days credit. **He took the jail time..After he gets out he will no longer be on probabtion, and he had 4 years of probabtion and we are only in year 2 now.

    I feel sick as a Mom, but ok as a parent that he is going away. I am desperate to think that this may be the turning point, but they way he is now I really don’t see that happening. He went to jail for 30 days before, and still came out and still did drugs..

    While he was out of the house, I found out he withdrew $1500.00 from his bank account and in 1 week didn’t have a penny left, I know he only had about 50 bucks in his account so when I called the bank to find out how he was able to withdraw that amount of money they stated the had given him a line of credit! What??? He is 23 years old, no job…ugggg..

    He doesn’t realize that his actions effect everyone, now I will be asked to send money to him in jail, and pay for the phone calls, the Lawyer bills which are at 7K now, cell phone that he had in my name..It just never stops.

    I told him to go thru the drug program they had in jail, not sure how much that will help, its only a county jail, and when he gets out he had better have some sort of a plan, cause he is not coming back with me…Will I still feel that way then, probably not..

    I really don’t know what I did wrong with this kid? he was a start soccer player, got scouted for colleges, went to college of course didn’t finish, we didn’t have alot I have always worked hard (Single Mom) and he knows that…I really don’t get it.

    **Patrick what was your turning point? I went to a few meetings and it was so depressing, not one person had a happy ending to their story not one out of about 20 parents.

  • Patrick

    @ Theresa – my turning point was when I was all alone one day and I realized that the booze was no longer working for me. My girlfriend was out of town with her family at the time and I was alone and I could not “get happy” with drugs and alcohol. I was drinking very strong liquor all night long and I realized it was no longer fun. So I called my mother and agreed to get help.

    In some ways I think this was just a blessing from my HP. I did not go to jail or wreck my car in order to come to this decision. It just happened.

    But do you see how I had to be alone, sort of abandoned (if only temporarily) for it to happen?

    This is what they teach you in Al-anon. How to detach, so that the alcoholic will be forced to grow up, so to speak.

    What kind of meeting did you go to where no one had a happy ending? If it was an Al-anon meeting, that makes perfect sense. My parents stopped attending those over 8 years ago when I got sober. Why keep going if the alcoholic in your life is no longer in active addiction? Makes sense to me….so you would naturally not hear the “happy endings” in those meetings. The people that are there still need help…..

    Good luck….

  • Frustrated wife

    My husband and I have been married for just under two months but have been together for about 8 years. We got together very young and partying with alcohol was part of our college lifestyle. I knew that he rarely took pain/ anxiety medication (inhertied from a group of guys he grew up with), and didn’t have a huge problem with it because it didn’t seem like an issue. He still went to school full time and was responsible for himself and his bills. We then grew out of that lifestyle until prescription pills became so easy to get over the internet. It took a friend dying from an overdose to snap him out of it that time. We then went a couple of years sober until depression and availability made it come back into his life. We struggled with his addiction… missing family events and holidays, and even me leaving him a few times for him to come to the decision he wanted to stop. He was sober for year and a half when we decided to get married. I thought everything was so perfect. A month before we get married I find out he’s been taking them for several months. He promised rehab, and hard work to get through it this time…we got married…and he decided he doesn’t really have an issue and has resumed the lies. My therapist says that the alonon method of setting boundaries and not being confrontation is the only way but I’m not sure how much patience I have left before I admit that I see the pattern of the writing on the wall. Be sure when making a commitment to someone who’s an addict that they SHOW they’re fully committed to helping themselves for their own well-being and no one else or it won’t happen. It’s a long hard road either way but without their full commitment you’re fighting an up-hill battle. Be compassionate, not forceful, set boundaries, and be prepared to walk away before you lose yourself. Try all the methods of dealing with an addict and hopefully one of them will work on your loved one. Good luck to you spouses

  • Patrick

    God bless, Frustrated Wife. Sounds like you have gained much wisdom. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope things work out well for you. Put your sanity first.

  • http://swimchick810@hotmail.com Sarah

    My close friend is suffering from E and over-the-counter drug addiction. For the longest time, I was in denial about his problem. I just thought that he was having fun and that it would never hurt anyone. I played along and now I don’t know how to help him. He has chased away a lot of his close friends. I have recently tried the informal intervention and hopefully this will open his eyes. I am so glad that I found this site. I now know that I am not responsible for his life and weather or not he gets better, I can just help him get there

  • Angie

    My husband is addicted to opiates and I have been dealing with this for about 3 years now since I became pregnant with our second son. Our sons are now 4 and 2 years old and they are being negatively effected by this and it is killing me. Earlier this year I found out my husband had started shooting up heroin because it was cheaper and a better buzz . I left him and then he begged me to come back and that he would stop for the millionth time. I knew it wasnt true but just hoped and prayed that it was so like every other time I came back. I dont know how to help him and I am a college student with no income so there is the issue of not being able to support myself but more than that the issue is that I love him and just want him to stop but we cannot afford rehab and his family and friends who also have drug problems are all around him literally just down the road. We cannot afford to move though we probably could if he would quit using. He says he wants to quit but never more than a few days go by before he is high again. I am so stressed out right now between heavy school assignments ( I am almost a senior now, this is my 4th year) taking care of my little guys, and dealing with his drug problem that I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown. What am I suppose to do?

  • Bob

    this article was great. However, i can’t seem to find an article on photo addiction. I know smeone who is addicted to taking photos, and wont stop. help

  • http://lewis Anonymous

    im only 14 and ive never taken grade until today. I had a small puff and stopped and worried if im starting get addicted

  • http://totalfreedomprogram.org Carlyn Edmond

    Hello,
    My name is Carlyn Edmond I am a resident at Total Freedom, an alternative addictions program in Ocoee, FL. Total Freedom is a 9 month faith based residential program, assisting in the freedom of men and women bound by addiction.We are currently looking for agencies to refer potential clients to us. There is no initial fee to enter our program, and we currently have beds available. We welcome you to check out our website at totalfreedomprogram.org
    for more information, please e-mail me at truemin@gmail.com
    Have a blessed day!
    Carlyn Edmond

  • http://totalfreedomprogram.org Carlyn Edmond

    Come and join us in the river, where there’s healing, refreshing, deliverance and joy! Friday night Oasis at 7pm http://trueministrieschurch.org/tv.htm

  • Sharon

    My daughter has been an addict since she was 16 years old she is now 25. She started trying a little bit of everything and low and behold she became addicted to alcohol and an assortment of drugs…prescriptions, coke, heroin etc….. She has been hospitalized at least 40 times with levels so high at times that doctors were amazed she was lived as well as spending 1 month in for an infected pancreous, received 65 stiches in her wrist from a razor bade in a suicide attempt. I sincerely feel she will not make it to see 26. Amongst so many other disfunctional things that has and is still happening…. in which I am completley in denial off, I have managed to disconnect myself emotionally….so to speak I grew a callus on my heart, which has helped tremendously. She continues to blame myself and her father for her problems and viewing the other comments I see I’m not alone. As many others do I feel my situation is rare and I’m living this nightmare alone and no one understands. There truely is no stereotype that fits an addict, and even though I intellectually understand this I’m still so ashamed and embarrassed. I go to work every day as an executive and no one knows my situation. I continue to feel noone understands or cares and noone can help me. However it was nice finding this site and seeing I’m not alone.

  • So Scared!

    My boy friend of two years is an addict however for the first time in two years he finally wanted to go to detox,never has he ever wanted something so bad!
    He has been in detox for days now,he will be comming home on Thanksgiving,he has been sounding very positive and clear minded.However,I’m so scared that when he comes home he won’t stay sober.I’m affraid that once he gets his freedom again that he will use again!
    The worse part is that he feels the same!
    What do I do?

  • Patrick

    @ So Scared – if he really feels like he will use again then it is likely that he will. The most you can do really is to encourage him to follow up with more care after leaving treatment. This might mean going to outpatient treatment, or possibly 12 step meetings, or whatever.

    Leaving treatment is really a beginning….encourage him to continue on with his recovery and try to be supportive.

  • http://spiritualriver.com Lesley Taylor

    Thank you to all for sharing your stories.
    I have a son 29yrs old he is on the methadone program and also takes perscription tablets and drinks alcohol.
    He has been in and out of jail many time over the past 4 years and has been kicked out of many share houses.
    He is presently homeless after being released from prison last week onto the streets.
    Having him at home isnt an option as it hasnt worked over the last 8 years and the stress it causes is unbearable.
    My husband and I have both been to Alanon and it did help. We are just exhausted of it all. My daughter found him somewhere to live this morning but when I told him he wasnt interested. Any suggestions to me would be appreciated.

  • sasha

    hi there

    good reading

    i am going through the same thing. I have a boyfriend that is also a drug addict (cocaine) and several times he has sold our possessions to get a fix. He went to a rehab about three years ago by force from his work environment but i guess it did not help him. I am going out with him for two years now and this time he is in the verge of loosing his job cos he took the work vehicle and stole his work laptop and beamer for cocaine. he didnt even go to work for two days. He spoke to his management that he has a problem and they disagree with this and he wanted permission to go attend a rehab this time on his own will.but his management did not allow him to, so by force he booked himself into a rehab centre where his medical aid is paying for it. he will be there for three weeks. up to today he is still on fire with his job. I hope that this time he gets better and recovers. I am so hurt and humiliated about this whole thing and not sure whther i want to be in this rel any more.

  • Rose

    i have to hellp someone I love alot and, I have to help them. He is like my father and i love him soo much i don’t know what do do to help him. I visit his home veryy often amd i just don’t know what to do. I’m his only hope. No one else will help with his problem and I do not feel guilty. I have to fix him though. Help me

  • sasha

    i also need help
    i dont know if i can help him on my own

    i am struggling with him

    please guide me through

    i love him and i waqnt the best for our future but what now?

    am i always going to feel like he is always going to be an addict

  • Patrick

    Sasha and Rose, it sounds like you are both learning just what it means to be powerless in changing another person. At times the best you can do is step away from the situation and let them screw up.

    Sometimes this is the only way an addict will learn. And even then, they may not learn.

    We can’t really change anyone. But you can encourage treatment, and you can also walk away from them and stop enabling them to continue using. If your support allows them to continue using, then withdrawal that support. It is hard but in some situations it is the only way.

  • sasha

    well he stepped up and decided to go to rehab

    i hope it works thou………..he is almost in the verge of loosing his job …….

  • Neil

    Iam an addict and have no friends hate it i have a beautiful feancey two little girls a dog a perfect little family we are getting married in a mounth and i have no one all my old friends drink i whent to an aa meeting and i was a bunch of old timers i just feel so lost to society its weird i find peace in music like afi tool nine inch nails thrice bands that realy make me feel something u no. I try to hold on to such things as music and watching dolphines swim something about the deep ocean grips me makes me feel good inside. I don’t know iam just confused wwith who iam i have been sober for over three mounth now i feel off in the summer got drunk then whent down town bout some crack 6 hours later 350.00 was gone i just am so frustrated iam just looking for some friends and at the same time just wanting to say that every one can stay clean it is truley beauitful to find the light with in to say no more i just want time back i want to be able to be around booze and noth have to think about downing it the moment i look at it thank for listenin

  • Anonymous

    My boyfriend of 2years has a drug problem, he thinks he got it all in control, but i can see he doesn`t.
    i knew-when i met him, that he smoked pot every now and again, but since ive moved in with him, i know its everything every now and then…from weed to help him “come down”, to coke, speed and my heart is broken,cause i caught him doing tik.

    My mind tell me to leave him, but I can not do that..i care to much. He says he knws he got a problem, but cant go for help, because he doesn`t want anyone to know.
    I`ve got so many questions….how does this get fix?
    his parents are old…should I tell them?
    Is this ever gonna end? Am i not enough for him,why the hell doesn`t he just stop?????.Am I strong enough to carry both of us in the”down time”
    He got caught at work, they did a urine test and is suspended till thursday,till his hearing…will they fire him?
    He is such a good person, when he is sober i do have 2days max with the man i fell in love with…i love him,please tell me how i can help him,without taking his fight away from him??Please

  • need help

    please help me! I dont know what to do any more. I’ve been with my husband for seven years and he does weed, coke, pcp(water), and he drinks. He says that he dont have a problem that it takes away his problems. I told him that it just adds more trobble to our relationship because now I want to leave him I have two kids by him and I dont want them seeing us aruge. He said why should he stop if he take cares of his family and he dont beat me. What should i do?

  • Help Yourself

    “need help”

    I have come to realize that it doesn’t matter anymore. You have no other option but to leave with the kids. I am going through a situation as well but not with the hard drugs. Alc has been a big issue nearly all his life, but now he is addicted to oxy and aderral. He is always demanding of wanting it a high and persistent no matter how much I argue with him. Now I am sitting at work after a fight (again). He just doesn’t get it. He is sick, and so am I. I have come to the realization that enough is enough. You need to do the same thing.

    It’s time to make a change.

  • Tressa

    This is the whole problem family members are going through in the first place! How do you help someone when you don’t have the money to put someone in a place like yours! So, clearly there is STILL a problem for us that can’t afford treatment for these people! Your website shouldn’t be the first on the page because it’s not a solution for the rest of us out there that face this issue!

  • Patrick

    @ Tressa – Rehab is but one option, and in many cases the cost can be absorbed by a funding agency, Medicaid, or insurance. Cash is a last resort option and very few people who go to rehab actually pay cash. Probably only about 5 to 10 percent pay cash.

    Rehab is not necessary for someone to get clean and sober…it just helps out. Read through the article again and realize that 99 percent of what is suggested involves changing your behavior and using free resources (such as Al-anon meetings).

    Money will not cure anyone. It’s not about the money. I got sober in a long term program that was set up for homeless men, and the place only charged for treatment when the clients actively worked a job. It was essentially “free.” Lack of money is no excuse. Be persistent, be creative, be willing to make sacrifices.

    If someone is ready to get clean and sober, then “doors will open” for them. On the other hand, having 30 thousand dollars handed to you for luxury rehab is not going to change anything, and will not motivate anyone to stay sober in the long run.

    Question: have you called up several local treatment centers and discussed your options with them? Do so and I bet you will find a way to make things work.

    Good luck.

  • Anonymous

    We have tried everything to help {we thought} but now after about $40,000 we have learned no one can pay out enough to change another person. Rehabs, bad checks, court fees, paying all this much out to try to show our love and care for him- but to no avail. His Dad died in a car wreck when our Grandson was having his 9 year birthday party. He grew up being very bitter. He is now 32 and has a felony charge.He only feels comfortable around his so called friends. It has to be a will from within him strong enough to change him.We cannot do any more-except love him. WEPRY

  • In Need of Advise or Constructive Critisicm

    I am in the begining stages of learning just what addiction is and trying to sort out the affects that it has had on me emotionally, mentally, and physically. My friend of seven years, now boyfriend of a year and a half is a recovering addict. He finally came clean with me and his family in May of this year by admitting that he had an abuse problem. However, it took a major life threatining event in his life for him to feel safe or comfortable to reveal this to us. He has relapsed twice, most recently last week – which he just revealed to me today. I have made up my mind that I must start protecting myself as I now am able to clearly see how selfish his behavior is, and how destructive this behavior has been to my well being. Even though he has been untruthful and deceptive, it is very difficult to look beyond the love I have for him and separate myself emotionally. I am so saddend, and don’t want to start separating myself emotionally and setting ‘real’ boundaries over the holiday because I fear of the impact it will have on him – will he relapse again or go on a binge? But in the same hand, I too fear that I will break soon.

    I am open to any advise or constructive critisicm anyone may wish to share with me. Thank you for ready my note. I wish everyone a blessed holiday and a happy new year.

  • http://letterstorehab.blogspot.com/ Shelly

    I invite anyone who is looking for ongoing help to come to the E Meeting for friends and family of cocaine addicts, Co-Anon. Go to Co-anon.org and click on meetingsites, scroll down to the EMeeting link. It is a daily, hourly meeting of folks who have been through this and are going through it now, including me.

  • stephanie

    hi!my name is steph, i have been online for 4 hours trying to find a rehab for my boyfriend and cannot find one…now that he is willing to go it seems nowhere will take him without health insurance???please if you know of anywhere email me at stephfassnacht@yahoo.com…we live in northern florida!!!thanks

  • A Mother

    As a mother, what can I do to help my 24 year old son who is addicted to whatever he can get his hands on . . . . .he was recently involved in a serious car accident that broke his back . . . and his leg . . .so now he can get legal drugs and abuse them as well . . .his “girlfriend” uses drugs as well and she was driving when they wrecked. . . now he has moved back home for my husband and myself to take care of. . . .over the Christmas Holidays he had an incident with some coke that he shot up . . . . that almost took his life . . .he is not aware that his dad and I know about it .. .. but we do and it is killing us . . . .how do we help him? How do we help without enableing him to continue down this path? Three months ago, he went to rehap for 2 days and signed himself out, he said he could kick this on his own . . . but that has NOT happened and now he can get the drugs legally . . .what can we do???? Please somebody tell us what to do???

  • Nuraan

    I realy need your hlp my husband was clean 4 more then 2yrs and started using drugs again i dnt know wot to do anymore with him .he lost hes job and we staying with hes family and wegot a 10month baby boy im the only one working and its jst a ordanery job to look after my baby

  • Emily

    To In Need of Advise or Constructive Critisicm: I understand where you are coming from. My husband that I’ve been with for over 2 years has relapsed didn’t tell me for 6 months while living with him, he got straight onto methadone, cause he was an addict before this for 4 years, but has been clean for over a year from 2007-2009. I know he relapsed because its the disease of addiction think about using heroine every time he is going through stress, but man the worst part about all of it, is that he lied for so long. Its ok though, thats the addict and not the love of your life, so I am going to start going to Al-anon even thought i’ve never been an addict, just to help my husband. thank you, and hope you figure out a good model for success.

  • http://www.serenityranch.ca Sabrina Samuel

    Thank you for this insightful article. Families and friends of alcoholics must know that they cannot change the suffering person, only themselves.

    Kind regards from Serenity Ranch,
    Sabrina

  • http://yahoo Tdm

    I’m A Young girl 13 actually almost 14 yea I’m pretty sure you guys are thinking what is a girl doin on here,well my boyfriend has been doin drugs every since he was little and he still does them when me and him got together he said he would do anything for me he said he would get off drugs so I’m trying my best to help him but I’m not really sure what to do can someone help me? I’m trying to lower what he takes can someone just help me

  • hearbroken

    hi

    My boyfriend is addicted to using drugs and has found comfort in smoking crack. His addiction is getting out of hand. This is the first time in my life as being a co-dependant and man does it suck! anyway, i have an apartment, electric, telephone, cable and internet, phone bills and a car finance all under my name. Would it be so hurtful if i cancelled everything and told him to get out of my apartment by a certain date and also change my cell number on him????!!!! i hope someone to help because i have no idea what to do. thanks

  • First finding it out??

    I just received a call from my niece, who lives in another city away from me.. We have always stayed in touch over the years. She is only 25 with two children, single mother… and I just discovered she is addicted to crack.. (?).. Periodically I watch the show “Intervention”.. but I personally never expereinced this with a family member of my own.. My brother (her father) passed on a few years ago and since then we have lost numerous family members.. So she of course used all those sad feeling as to a “Why” she does smoke crack.. I just simply asked her about a rehap facility and for her to detach herself from the people who are supporting her habit.. Anyway, she had to run and she will call me back later….. Any words of wisdom for the “first finding out”.. please … Help

  • TO Sharon & TO Mother

    FROM: “Just finding it out?”
    WOW… I just received a phone call from my niece who just informed me of her addiction.. I read your stories and (No) I am not her mother (so I can not imagine being in your shoes) However, I am family and she has no one else….Over the years I have preached and preached about doing the right thing, yada yada.. and here I sit today seeking some words of wisdom, some help of direction to help her….. Stay strong ladies, it sounds like a very difficult position you two are in..Your comments did help me look at all this in a different way and “Thank you”

  • gabrielle

    I am a 17yr old and i am daiting an addict.
    I started to date jimmy 9mths ago things seemed perfect but they feel apart fast. he is a perimedic and he is verry talented my whole world is about him, i left my family and now im wrote off for him.
    so he started off doing perks and viks(sickly large amounts) then he was doing oxy here and there, he is now about to be 26 and he is mixing coke and oxy, he does volume, collonipin, ambien, perks viks and smokes weed. he is mentaly abusive he never has money i give him everything i have.
    he has been saying he wants to kill himself, He has nothing he hates his life i dont know what to do.

  • gabrielle

    I am a 17yr old and i am daiting an addict.
    I started to date jimmy 9mths ago things seemed perfect but they fell apart fast. he is a perimedic and he is verry talented my whole world is about him, i left my family and now im wrote off for him.
    so he started off doing perks and viks(sickly large amounts) then he was doing oxy here and there, he is now about to be 26 and he is mixing coke and oxy, he does volume, collonipin, ambien, perks viks and smokes weed. he is mentaly abusive he never has money i give him everything i have.
    he has been saying he wants to kill himself, He has nothing he hates his life i dont know what to do.

  • Michael

    well, i have a friend who is an addict and well he started becuz of this one dude and this dude already left can we still help him?

  • MOM

    I have an alcoholic friend that is very toxic to me. I am a recovering alcoholic my self and recently had a short relapse. I do not want that demon in the bottle in my life.
    My friend has been an alcoholic for over 20 years. She has been on xanax for 10 years. Last summer her 22 year old son hung himself. So now she is also taking remeron, antivan, trazadone at least. Then she forgets what she took and takes more. She calls me constantly in depression, illness etc. She lies to me about drinking.
    I have done everything I can to try and help from preparing her sons funeral to calling her DR. to cleaning her cat box and so much more. She called me one night and said the fire dept. called and said they would have to evacuate for a near by fire, and I live real close, so I started packing my car and freaking my kids out. It was all a lie. Drama Drama Drama.
    I just can’t do it any longer. Its affecting my health and sanity. I have decided to no longer accept her calls or even listen to her voice messages. I love and care and feel sorry for her , but I can’t let her Kill me. I will still pray for my friend.

    So my advice to all of you involved in a toxic relationship is to set limits. Give them a limited time to stop, if they won’t you have to walk away. It will only drag you down and can even cause you health damage from stress. This is especially for you young ones. Learn this now. I am in my 40’s and I wish I could have figured this out a long time ago.

  • Alison

    This is my first post that I’ve ever done on anything, but I could use some advice from others who have dealt with this. I started dating a 26 year old guy about a year ago and everything just clicked. He was a recovering drug addict and had been through rehab program and was doing well when I met him. About 2 months into relationship, he took off and would not answer anyone’s calls. When he returned, we knew he had fallen back into old habit and relapsed. This happen 3 other times, and now he is currently in jail and soon to be starting a drug rehab program there. I believe whole-heartedly that he wants to change his life around. I have never felt love and compassion for another being like I do for him, but am I being naive about the relationship? Can change really transpire? Can hopes and dreams really come true? My faith is in the Lord and his work that he needs to do in this guy’s life. May prayers be answered.

  • Patrick

    Hi Alison

    You might try taking a break. Put the relationship on hold and let him find his footing. This is a hard thing to do and most will not have the strength to really back off and let things cool for a while. He needs to work on his recovery. That cannot happen as well if you are his major support system. He needs to be clean and sober without you being his strength….then the relationship might work out. But not until then. See what I am saying? He needs space to grow…..

  • concerned friend and girlfriend

    Wow I am not sure where to start. I have to situations. A best friend and a boyfriend. My friend has two kids who get neglected because of her pill addiction that she will never give up. I worry that she will overdose because she will literly take everything she is given or can get in one day. I also have a boyfriend who is back and forth. He is addicted to pills also but talks back in forth about wanting to get off them until something bad happens. I kind of put him into the situation that he was going to lose me this weekend and he has apoligized and really asking for my help but will this stick. I can’t get him off something when his family is the biggest part of the influence and I can’t quit my job and be home with him and support us. I have cut myself out of helping him in any way support his habit. I have made him getting back with me difficult when we broke up. I am trying to make him see that he loses everything when he does drugs, and he is amazing and really could go some where with his life. He is smart, dedicated, passionate about what he wants out of life, determined, WHEN he is not on pills. I REALLY WANT TO HELP HIM BUT DON’T KNOW IF I MYSELF AM STRONG ENOUGH MENTALLY TO HANDLE ALL THE MENTAL ABUSE WHEN HE IS GOING THROUGH WITHDRAWS….HOW CAN I OVERCOME THAT SO I CAN BE BY HIS SIDE AND HELP HIM THROUGH THIS. WHAT IS THE BEST THING FOR ME TO DO FOR HIM WHEN HE GETS MAD AND ANGERY AND WANTS TO GIVE IN.

  • jojo

    My situation is that i have been with my boyfriend for almost 5 years.
    He is from europe and came to Australia to study
    We live in a beautiful house own a nice car have a great dog.When we met he told me he had struggled with pot smoking and depression after his father died, but seeked a psycologist and was no longer smoking pot or depressed. For the 1st year of our relationship there was no drug problems and we were happy. After a visit with his family and a conflict the pot smoking began slowly building up untill it was heavy use and his studies fell away completly. I refused to see this happen and he decided to see or call his psycologist every week to help remedy the problem. The thing is its been 4 years and i see little progress, or if there is progress it comes in cycles. For months he does no study, and then for 6 weeks he works non stop. I have seen the pot smoking reduce but would very much classify as heavy. Smokes upon waking etc. The fact he sees a psycologist makes it difficult to argue. But my unhappiness with the situation has reached almost breaking point. He admits he wants better, he says he is working hard to overcome this problem but he cant stop smoking. 4 years of heavy use is i beleive starting to screw with his head. Another problem is that he comes from a wealthy family who pay his living while he finishes a degree that should have been 2 years but still isnt finished after 5 years. I know i should leave, choose a better hapiness for my life. But i do love him, he does seek help, where do you draw a line. How long can you have hope and trust ? I am smart and have my own career and refuse to end up as some victim. but in a way i feel like my love does that Whats the line between love for yourself and love for another especially when they say they are working hard to fix this? for years. Help

  • Patrick

    @ jojo – I smoked pot for years and kept my family sort of held at bay because I was seeing a psychologist at their request.

    Here is the news flash: it is easy to keep seeing a psychologist and continue to abuse a drug. In fact it is fun to do so. When I was doing that, I had NO intention of changing. I told myself that I might decide to change at some point, all the while I just kept smoking weed.

    I had to go through another 10 years of misery, chaos, and turmoil before I actually decided to change.

    So take that for what it is worth, jojo. Seeing a shrink is sort of like a defense mechanism that allows you to keep using drugs, in my opinion anyway. It work for me for a long time, and did me more harm than good (because I used it to justify my drug use).

  • Going_insane

    I’m at crossroads and I don’t really know which way to turn. I found out that my husband of fifteen years has started smoking crack about two months ago. He has taken over $2000.00 from our joint accounts in that time. He tried to commit suicide with a bottle of pills three weeks ago, and was placed in a pych ward. They let him out after only four days, and he tried suicide again. The second time they only kept him two days.
    He stopped using for two weeks, but now I”m starting to notice money missing and the same pattern in his behavior. He doesn’t sleep at night, disappears. He’s in complete denial though, and he lied about it when I confronted him.
    Do I stay? We’ve been together so long and we have two kids. I don’t know what to do. I have no family of my own. Really no network of support. I can’t believe that this has happened.

  • Patrick

    @ Going_insane

    I would wait. 2 months is not that long, even though I know you are living in pure misery right now. Crack destroys people quickly. Believe it or not, that might be a good thing in this case. Rather than abuse painkillers for 30 years, he might get through this a lot quicker.

    What you need to do is find help. Not for him but for YOU. That is your first priority. I would recommend that you get to an Al-Anon meeting. Today. Like right now. That should be your priority. They can help you a lot more than I can.

    Good luck….

  • becky

    im in a long distance relationship with a 27 year old man.we talk on the phone etc, i knew him when i was younger and we got in contact through a friend, we have met twice but its shocking how strong our bond is when hes not drinking or on drugs.he cant tell me he loves me enough and then suddenly he goes out drinking and taking drugs and it turns into a NIGHTMARE. its devastating and i know its stupid cos we are far from each other but i feel for him, and im thinkin this is so unhealthy and its worrying me.i dont know what to make of it.it has a terrible effect on me cos he gets a little abusive and it devastates me.and makes me feel awful.but when hes nice hes lovely.its so upsetting.
    i know maybe i got to stop contact with him but its an awful feeling.but i know if we get more involved im going to end up getting terrible????????????????

  • At a loss

    Im a 23 year old girl from a small town, I started dating Curtis almost 5 months ago. I knew about Curtis’ past and his addiction to several different drugs and I also knew that he had been sober for almost a year…I was so proud of the things that he had achieved and it said alot about him that he could overcome such situations. It made him uncomfortable to talk about the things that he had done and seen in his life and that was understandable. About 2 months into our relationship I started noticing that he was talking about cocaine again but it was how much fun it was and all the “good-times” he had when he was on drugs. I have caught him in lies many times and caught him trying to “score some” 3 times in the last 3 months. I have told him several different times that I will not stand for that and I will not date a drug addict. I have had to talk him out of using recently and it was the toughest and saddest thing I have ever done, I told him that if he walked out of the front door he was not welcome back in, I told him it would be over between us and that when he wants to use he’s basically choosing drugs over me. He stayed home that night but I’m worried that when Im not all over him about it then he will use again. He says relapes are normall and that he’s doing good, compartativly speaking. What can I do to help him? I need advice, I dont know how to deal with this promblem ? Can anyone help me?

  • Patrick

    @ Becky – long distance makes it even tougher to get honest and work through this time of problem. I don’t know the details but it almost seems like too much trouble to keep going, especially if he is abusive. I am sure most would advise that you try to end it, but I am not in a position to really know.

    @ At a loss – “He says relapse is normal and he is doing good, comparatively speaking.” This is a line of bullshit. He has no intention of stopping at this point, so you should prepare yourself for the fact that he is not done using drugs yet.

    You should get to an Al-anon meeting, share openly with the people there, and consider leaving the relationship until he is drug free. I don’t think he will stop right now based on what you said. He is not even close to ready yet. Drug addicts are motivated to get clean by PAIN. He has not enough pain in his life yet, from the sound of it. Just my 2 cents, I could be way off. Get a second opinion at an Al-anon meeting, they can give you expert help, better than me….good luck people.

  • Walter Dorosz

    Hello everyone,
    I’m 33 yrs old and grew up around drugs and alcohol all my life. I’ve done my share of drinking and doing drugs in my time. I’m one of the lucky ones that walked away from it.
    I have 5 siblings, 3 are addicts, ( 2 hard drugs, 1 alcohol ) one passed away ( stanley) on sept. 13th 2009, three days before his 32 birthday,of a drug overdose. ( heroin ) and one lives in florida clean. The night of his passing ( stanley ), i got a call from my mother, (worst call ever). She found him on the bathroom floor, dead. Not only did i have to deal with my brothers death, i had to deal with my mothers emotions. I cant begin to even know how that made her feel. Worst than that, i had no clue how to help her, as i didn’t know how to help myself. Two of my siblings, ( 28, 23) were locked up for drug related crime, at the time of our brothers passing. Ones out, (i’m holding my breath) the other , very soon. I’m scared that my family has not seen the last of the torment of drugs and alcohol. Very tough to deal with!!! I appreciate your time and advice, ty.
    P.S. I started a group on facebook, ( ” stop drug abuse “). The purpose is for people to have a place to go and leave comments and post photos of loved ones. Or to just go and try and help someone else with advice. Please, check it out. Facebook name-walter dorosz or wdpainter@gmail.Com

  • Going_insane

    I’ve done some research. I always thought that I did not enable. Surprise, surprise I do.
    I still haven’t decided whether I’m going to leave or not, but after doing the research I most definitely am going to distance myself from the situation. Which will be really hard.
    I’ve been locking my purse in the car and keeping the keys on me while I sleep. Last night he broke into the car. According to the police there is nothing that they can do because the money, checking accounts, and the car itself are community property. They can’t even ask him to leave the house. He came up with some story how he caught someone else breaking into the car.
    Even when he’s been caught “red-handed” in other situations, he lies. Its almost like he convinces himself that his version is the truth.
    How do you let go of the anger? I give the anger, the worries, the pain to God, then he does something like this, and the cycle starts again.

  • Jacquelyn

    My Fiance has been clean since july 09, or so he says. He has recently been going out a lot and not coming home when he says he will. I found out that he has been using again, but when I confronted him he makes me feel dumb and stupid, like Im the one thats wrong…It hearts so bad. We’ve been together since I was sixteen, and have lived together for 2 years, I am now in college and trying to better my life, But he makes it so hard to concentrate and move forward. Not that hes holding me back, its just that I worry so much about him its making me sick. What the hell can I do? leaving him is not an option

  • Patrick

    @ Jacquelyn – if leaving is “not an option” then you must deal with it, right? Go to an Al-anon meeting and they will help you learn how to deal with it. And, they will probably try to teach you that there is always a choice, that leaving is possible…not that you should do that, just that you can…if it comes to that.

    What if leaving was the only thing that could change him? Because in many cases that is what it comes down to…..

  • John

    Hey Everyone, My name is John and I was on this site doing some research about what I can do for myself because unlike most of the posts here I am the addict not someone I know. I thought that it may help if I shared some of my experiences with all of you. i have been using oxy’s and pretty much any pain killer and smoking weed for almost two years now. I have been to two different rehabs, one one month and one three month. I never stopped using this whole time except for when I was in rehab. I have lied and stole from everyone who has ever cared about me without even batting an eye lash. Before I went to my first rehab I was in a very serious relationship and when she found out that I was using she left me and this started a large downward spiral for me. Since getting back from my second rehab we began to talk again and she and i got back together. A couple of days ago I started to use again and she found out along with my family, they are all very nervous and upset. The difficult part of this is that I really dont want to be controlled by the drug because that is what happenes to me but at the same time I can say this truthfully that I cherish the feeling that the drug gives me. I am frustrated because as much as I like the drug my girlfriend and family mean so much more to me than it but because I have used and on top of that been dishonest with all of them they don’t believe anything that comes out of my mouth.

    This is just a slice of the frustration and the hardships of trying to gain the trust of those around you back and getting off the drug of your choice. I have a lot of making up to do and a lot of work to try and get these people who love me the most back on my side.

    Hope that this can help some of you get inside the head of the person that you are trying to help…..don’t give up on them because if it’s bad like I was then they may have given up on themselves already and you are the only way to get them back.

  • a

    My girlfriend is 29 years old and has been struggling with alcoholism and a cocaine addiction for over ten years. She has three amazing kids that she loves more than anything. She doesn’t do anything when they are with her, and even at her worst now she only does it once every couple of weeks. Its only when she goes out and runs into people she used to party with in her teens. She also suffers from bipolar disorder so it makes it a lot harder to get sober. I love her more than anything and want to help her before it gets out of hand again, but I just don’t know what to do. If anyone could help me I would be greatly appreciative.

  • Casey

    This may be the best thing I’ve read on alcoholism yet. Thank you very much. I have a question; if homelessness for the alcoholic is a real possibility because of their complete denial and not paying bills, etc, is it still ok to detach, not enable, etc? The alcoholic is my dad. I’m still young and desperately want to have my own life, but for the past year I was sucked into caring for him while he had a health crisis … as soon as he was better, he became the same monster he’s always been once again. I’m finding it harder to cut him out of my life this time because he was nearly homeless when the health crisis hit … the hospital called me and I stepped in to help. Now a year later, my life’s been in ruins, he’s drinking again, being awful, yet expects me to keep arranging his life. It has been an overwhelming assignment, and I know I am shortening my life (and even my husband’s because of all the stress) by trying to lengthen his. My dad wavers between complete denial (with his actions) and occasionally admitting he “might” have a problem and “should maybe consider” getting help, but I feel he says that more to just pacify me. I’ve tried to set up meetings etc for him to get help, he’s not interested. God bless you and thanks again for writing this.

  • lucy

    my boyfriend who is 30 we have been together for 2 and half years who i also have a 1 year old son with is doing meth. I knew he was a recovering drug addict when i met him but after about 1 year he turned to drugs again i cant take it he does it probably 1 a month but when he does it its bad i also have another child 8 year old and my kids are being affected by it because of the arguing all the time i love him with everything i have and he hands me all the lies and tells me he is going to change but never does its litterally killing me i dont know what to do i tell him if he keeps on im going to leave but he begs me not to and tells me his life means nothing to him with out me so please somebody tell me what to do

  • 5 month pregnant and alone

    Like many of these stories mine is similar. Me and my boyfriend knew each other from high school and after 20 yrs we got back together. We feel in love immediately and got pregnant one month into our relationship. I have 3 children from a previous marriage to an alcoholic. My bf nana was sick and I think this triggered his drug use. I knew he had a troubled past with the law and drugs. But he was sober and out of trouble for 3 yrs. I put my heart and trust into our relationship. I think I knew in the back of my head he was using but I was in denial. At first I noticed money missing, he had insomnia, complained about stomach aches, spent an hour in the bathroom and was nodding off at inappropriate times. It ended up he got arrested last week and has to spend a mandatory 60 days in prison. I’m heart broken, alone, and guilty that I didn’t help. I’ve been looking for an nar-anon meeting in my area but haven’t had much luck. I can’t leave I’m having his son and I love him more than anything. Help!

  • Charity

    It seems there are so many meetings for people who have loved ones that are alcoholics but not for drug addicts. I have gone to Al-Anon meetings but prefer to talk with people who have had the same experiences as I have. I am in a relationship with a man who is a crack addict. We have been together 6 years. I have read so many of these posts on here of people reaching out. There is help out there for us. I use to go “hunt” for my boyfriend when he would dissappear. His drug use consumed my life and made it hectic. But I allowed it all. I have looked closely at myself and learned to make myself come first. We cannot save our loved ones. We can continue to love them but they need to love themselves first. My boyfriend is now in jail because he turned himself in for stealing a gun to pawn for money to buy crack. He was running for a couple years and I allowed it. I could not make him turn himself in. He hit rock bottom and got sick and tired of sleeping where ever he could and having no money. I stopped allowing him to manipulate me and would not let him sleep in my home. I changed my account so that he could not have access. Until he came to realize that he needed help and wanted to stop running there was nothing I could do. I took him to the bus stop where he got on the bus and left to go across the country to turn himself in. I did not know if he really would but I had to let him make that choice. He did and he is getting the help he needs while being locked up. It was the best thing in the world for him. When he gets out it will still be his choice to stay clean. It is my choice what I will allow in my life. It has been very lonely at times because when he was clean we had fantastic times together. It was like living with Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. We talk very open about his addiction and feelings and mine also. The communication needs to be there. The one thing that I have learned from talking with many addicts who have stayed clean for many years is that they have found some type of belief in a higher power and that church, religion or belief system becomes number one in their life. I know how hard it is to deal with the addicts but we cannot control them. We can take control of our own lives and if you have kids, their lives also. There is hope. If anyone ever needs to just chat you can become my friend on Facebook. Just let me know on a message that you have a loved one in the same struggle. My name is Charity Galbraith. Please don’t be afraid to reach out. There is someone out here who shares your same hurt.

  • Concerned Girlfriend

    My boyfriend is an addict and has actively sought help, however he does not see himself as an addict and gets frustrated when the term is used, to the extent he has stormed out on his GP. Due to this negative response, he is reluctant to speak to anyone else. He knows he has an issue with drugs and that they highly effect his moods and feels he is dependent on them to have a good time. He also uses them as a coping mechanism for other issues which are going on in his family at the moment. However he has been a user for years. He is using less than he has done previously and can control it to the extent that he will not use in front or around me, but if he runs out and is unable to get hold of anything he spirals into a deep depression, he will also admit that he was an addict previously, but does not see that he might be now.

    I want to help him and he obviously feels he needs help if he has tried to speak to a doctor about this, but I don’t know what I can do if he can’t accept that he’s an addict. It is putting a lot of strain on both of us, there are no children involved thankfully, but I would like to start to settle down and contemplate kids in the future with him because I know he will be a fantastic dad, but I can’t bring a child into an environment like this.

    We’ve talked about his drug use before but not at any length or in any depth, as I have never wanted to offended him. He was a user when I met him and I always knew this was a part of him so I don’t feel I have the right to ask him to change. It was me who decided to carry on with a relationship, he was honest from the start. He has never lied about his habit, it just seems since problems have started to get worse in other areas of his life the drugs are no longer just for recreational purposes.

    On the odd occasion I have bought up the subject and we have talked about it he has said he can always see himself being a user. So how do I help him get back to the stage were he will realise drugs are not his only answer and people do want to help him?

  • Eric Weishaar

    I have stumbled across this website because I feel I am led by God to speak to others about the throes of addiction. I myself am 6 1/2 years sober from a Crystal Meth addiction that nearly cost me my life. To look at me resume anybody would assume that I was meant for great things. I graduated with honors from a 5A school in Texas and was accepted to the university of Texas to study economics. I was a leader in student government, speech and debate, athletics, etc. I was the all American Boy but decided instead after my first year of college to experiment with drugs. In a flash I went from smoking pot to putting cocaine up my nose. Then it got worse, I found speed. Within a year’s time I sold back my books, used my financial aid, and sold drugs to stay high on crystal meth. At the age of 20 I learned to cook my own speed. With an endless supply of dope I found myself so far from the light I welcomed the darkness with open arms. Finally at the age of 21 I was arrested for the manufacture of methamphetamines. Not a light sentence by any means. Thank the lord above I ended up with a 2nd degree felony and no longterm prison time. I ended up doing over 6 months of incarseration, including a stint in a felony correctional rehabilitation clinic. Afterward I struggled with 8 years probation and a felony record. Today I am off paper after completing 5 years of my sentence. I am currently the VP for a multi-state mortgage company and have owned several small businesses of my own. I have a beautiful wife and two wonderful children. I have been to the blackest of the abyss and have lived to tell about it. I am a success because I was willing to change my life and my choices. The one thing I can offer to everyone else on this forum is that only we as individuals can and will make the choice to be sober. I know that all the people on this website want to know what to do for their loved one, but the honest truth is there is nothing to do unless your loved one is WILLING to change. Some need jail, an overdose, or even death to finally realize their own rock bottom. We can onlt pray it is not the latter for your loved one. As a loved one of an addictm the best thing you can do is to stop ENABLING them to continue the addict cycle. Tough love and the allowing them to hit rock bottom will be the only way to save their life. Unfortunatley sometimes a person will die at the bottom. My prayers go out to all who love an addict and walk with them during this dark time. Have hope, I am a living example that it doesn’t have to end in heartache. Good luck to all and Godspeed. One day at a time is the way God himself told us to live.

    Eric W.

  • mark

    for anyone that is dealing with an addict whether it be pot, cocaine, meth or any drug that will change their behavioral patters. It isn’t your job to save them, they have to want to save themselves, they will play the guilt game if they say they can’t live without you that is their tough luck, in cases like these we actually have to think about ourselves and our children before we worry about them because we are the ones being hurt not them.

  • suzi

    going to help my mom to day i hope she doing better and not drinking i want to be happy went im there :)

  • Lynn

    Reading all the above has helped me realized that I have made the right choice by letting my daughters father go. We were together for almost 4 yrs. The first year and a half was almost perfect but then it became a nightmare. He started off with drinking and then moved on to pills. Any type he could get his hands on. Pain pills, Zannies, and Somas were what he started on. Not everyday only a few times a month but over time it turned into everyday. The percocet got to expensive so he moved on to OxyContin. He went from popping then to snorting to shooting them. He quit his job and lied to me and his mom to get money for drugs. He would tell me that he owed the dealer money and if he didn’t pay him he would come to the house. I never knew anyone with a real drug problem before so I didn’t know how to deal with all of this. I had baby, working full time, and going to school. The crazy part is his lifestyle became normal to me. Handing him over money to pay off the dealer. I would hid my Mac card and check book so he didn’t take my money. We were at the time living in an apartment and were told they would not let us resign a new lease. We moved out May of 08. I moved back to my mom’s and he stayed in hotels or with friends. That summer he told me that he had started shooting heroin. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my body. He begged me for money making me feel guilty about him being sick. I let him sell our brand new computer hoping that he would see how bad off he was. It didn’t help. He asked me for money and I said I had enough. I told him to go to rehab or rob a store. I wasn’t giving him anymore money. He went to rehab. I would love to say that he got clean and that everything worked out fine, but it didn’t. He has been to rehab 7 times since July of o8 and still isn’t not clean. He went back to heroin 3 times after his first trip to rehab in 08. In December of 08 he went on methadone and still to this day is on it. I found needles in my house December of last year. With all the lies and guilt trips he put me through I finally had enough. To this day he still is getting high and drinking. I truly believe that he will never be clean. As much as it breaks my heart to think this way I have to, to move on. I would stongly advise anyone who is in a realationship to spare their heart the ache that I have put not only put myself, but daughter , family and friends through and get to a meeting. Learn to say no and help yourself. If you choice to stay then be stong enought to do so and not give in to their addiction. You can not change them and you did not cause their addiction. It is not your fault only they can help themselves. God bless everyone who has or ever will walk in our shoes for they are big shoes to fill and walk is very long and hard.

  • http://www.rehabclinic.org.uk/ Rehab Clinics UK

    Wow this is a refreshing post. I love the approach to the method. Really thought provoking. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kakunka

    My experience with junkies:
    They’ll say anything, do anything . . . so long as it feeds their habit.

    You may love them, but they only love their junk . . .
    regardless of what they say, or what you think.
    K.

  • sm

    I’m an addict. I live a normal life except for my addiction. I pay rent. I pay for my food. I pay my taxes. I have a car and auto insurance. I work. I work out. I love my family. I love dogs. I have a mobil phone, a computer with internet service, cable tv and a big screen, a stero and furniture. I take pictures with my camera, I go on vacation, sometimes. I do not lie, cheat or steal. I know people that are not addicts and do not do these things. Many of them do not do many of these things. Why then is EVERYBody against me.

    Everyday is difficult for me. I have a lump in my throat constantly. I always have the headache that goes along with tears. I live constantly in pain. Why then is EVERYBODY against me?

  • Chrissea

    For: sm, April 4th 2010 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Why is everybody against you? For one thing everybody isn’t. The dealers, the gov’t, the other junkies who can “share” with you and anybody else who can make a profit from your addiction probably don’t give a rat’s a** about you enough to CARE to be against you. Why are the people who love you against you? They’re NOT! They are AFRAID for you. For your health, your security, your peace of mind, as well as for THEIR health, security and peace of mind. Addictions spiral, you develop a tolerance. (Or so YOU think). You WILL lose it eventually. Besides, if I could ask your loved ones how together you actually are… I bet they would not agree that you have it together. Material possesions are not a reflection of ones well being. How much love you give and receive are the makings of a healthy person. You are NOT getting ALL the love you need, nor are you GIVING ALL the love you can give. You might think you have it together now, but you DON’T. You already have a paraniod idea of how people think about you. You are disreguarding your loved ones fear and sadness and you ARE doing damage to your body. You are not healthy, drugs are not healthy. Headaches, lumps in the throat, guilt complexes and paranoia are NOT normal. I’m glad you haven’t lost everything YET. Please get off the dope. Some people DON’T have to hit rock bottom to get healthy, maybe you are one of them. Sending love…C

  • Luna

    I am a mother of an addict, my only child at age 25 my daughter left her $80,000. a year job, just walked away. I said what are you doing? I’m tried of working and tried of sociality. I’m thing she’s a grown woman. Then she disappeared and for almost 3 years I did not know where she was. Then she found me!! Said, she was married, had a child and was homeless and could I please help, so of course I did. Never knowing she had a drug problem. She is calling me up weekly asking for help and at the same time, calling me every name in the book, insulting me, threatening me. I just could not understand her. I was helping her and her husband, but most important helping my grandchild. I just thought that she had a mental illness. It was not until she got pregnant again and delivered the my granddaughter that I found out that she was a Meth addict. They took my grand daughter away from my daughter at the hospital because the baby tested positive for METH!!!!!!!! Then they took my grand son away, that was my daughter’s bottom so she said. I fought to get my grand babies from CPS what a nightmare that is. I had them for 10 months, my daughter and her husband got clean, got the kids back. But they have no recovery, it is still all about everyone is against them most of all ME……… They act like they hate me, I’m told that I remind them of the worse time of their life. I can’t see my grand babies, it’s all about that I am the devil. My daughter has 3 years clean but the mental attitude is still of an addict………. All those years I could have been going to Al-anon or nac-anon but I did not know…….. I just went to my first meeting and I found HOME. I am in a 12-step program for an issue of my own not drugs or alcohol but an addiction just the same. And Now I found Al-anon……I know now that I must Practice Detachment!!!!! Let Go and Let God……not easy but necessary!!! I need to take care of me first. It is hard not to be able to see my only living family, my daughter and my grand babies, but turning things over to my creator I will move on and live………

  • IFJ

    My name is Justin aka IFJ aka Hatchetman I’m a 19yr old juggalo n I am madly in LOVE wit this juggalette Arielle aka CHAOS aka 51/50 18yrs old. I am a recoverin meth head n wen we 1st met 6months ago we wer both meth heads. I quit right aftr meeting her cuz i wantd to hav my life togethr b4 takin on a joint life wit sum1 else but shit hapnd i lost contact wit her wen i got stuck sumwer i relapsd 1 night n havnt touchd it since…meanwhile…she was sellin HERSELF for this shit! She got outv rehab right b4 i got bak n she found me on a frnds phone n askd me to b hers the night she relapsd 2weeks n 3days ago…i said yes…wat else cud i say, i thought she 4got bout me but she didnt…n i hav a strongr conection wit her than any1 i fuckn know! ive been thru wat shes goin thru n evry1 else just ridicules her n doesnt evn take the god damn time to try to undrstnd. n i just want her to know tht thr is at least 1 prsn in her life tht will nevr abandon hope for her…yet im failing EPICALLY twice in 1week now ive bought exctacy for us n this shit was severly meth based. Now we’re both goin thru withdraws n fien’n for dope but i know i can stay clean…just so long i stay broke…but im woryd shes gona sell herself for it n i fuckn pinky promised her im nevr gona leave no matter how bad evrything gets…forever n always no matter wat on the hatchet *pinky promise* i know its bad but she is my soulmate id rathr thro my life in the toilette right aftr her n b with her thru it all till the end than spendn my life pretendn to love sum1else…idk wat else to do plz help us evry night i cry myself to sleep whethr im holdn her in my arms or im bak at my place wishin she was here…im fuckn cryn right now. SUM1 HELP PLZ!!! 916 410 2848

  • esineda

    I am a addict in recovery whos son is using meth. He is stealing from people trying to help him lying about everything ,blaming everybody but him self for the hardships he suffers. I have set bounderys, stay concistant,refuse to let him use me. In otherwords I don’t get to see him or talk to him. The only way I even hear of him is when he has burned some one, stole thier vehicles,lied to them hurt them. I miss him but, that I can take. But he is going to get killed or sent to prison or the hospitals. I am not going to get to chance to help him get clean. Being an addict my self I don;t understand how he can do these horrible things .I never could do the things he is doing . I hate people that do. Drugs have turned him into some one I hate. Why did they not make me do these thing and make him ? I love him and realize he needs help that I can not give him, who can help him? I have no money to get him into a rehab I want to be able to where to go to get help if he is still alive and ask for it. Iwant to be able to tell that there is help for him.

  • asianbabyy

    I really need some advice for all those experienced/older people who have been through what I’m about to say. Well I’ve been with my boyfriend for about a year now. Lately things have been rather difficult and rough. His bestfriends hit me up on text one day and told me that they’ve been tweaking for almost a month. I didn’t think my Bf had any part in it because we made a promise to be drug free, but one of his good friends end up telling me he’s been using meth for almost a month now. I got so pissed but stayed calm when I called him. I asked him nicely but he flipped out right when I asked. He blamed me for evrything and flipped the situation on me. He didn’t even apologize, he just kept talking about how rude and effed up I was. But I knew he was in denial. Like how can I be with someone who can’t tell me the truth? I know he’s been tweaking too because his face is sucked in more and he’s been having a change in sleeping habits/eating. He doesn’t see it at all, he still is denying it and wants to “end the relationship” because I don’t “TRUST” him. My question here, Shouldn’t I be the one getting mad and not trusting him? Huh, it just amazes me how he can say anything, and try to convince me that I’m crazy. Which I’m not. I just need some input on what I should do with this .. I love him a lot, but I think he’s just going to be more sneakier with it.

  • http://www.kci.org Kelly

    For women in relationships with meth addicts———–it is a LONG road. I re-married my meth addict x husband——he promised he wasnt using meth & that life was over-had to file for second divorce because he kept on using–and I FINALLY know where that road leads & I can’t go down that dark raod again. All the lies, manipulation, stealing, not trusting, the only way I have ever been able to uncover the truth was to hack into his cell phone or ask him to take a urine test–which he wouldnt do 90% of the time–which means he is using. The other times I tested his pee in the toilet–if he forgot to flush–and it was positive. He has been using on and off since 2006. Very secretive–each time I would find out he had to leave & go live with his Mom. He is 50 & Im now 45–we have been together for 23 yrs. I thought we could pretty much overcome anything until meth showed up. This has been heart breaking for both of us. He is living with his mom & I blocked him from calling me or texting me.. This was a BIG step for me–cause having access to each other (when you still love each other) keeps me all emeshed in his addiction & it makes it hard to be able to work, think or do anything that doesnt involve thinking about the whole meth nightmare. He had been riding by & stopped one day & we talked & cried for about 2 hrs–he DID admit how sick he was & how meth has stolen everything from him. I told him I blocked him & he said that was good because he had tried to call me & that it was best that he be left to his own devices. He said he had NO freinds, and was tired of the lifestyle of meth. I told him I would always love him–but could NOT or better yet–you have to get to the point of WILL NOT LIVE with someone I can’t trust———he was SOOO secretive & it was very confusing to me always wondering where he was REALLY going-and was he high. He was high when he came out here –and I said are you high? to my surprise he said YES–I said I appreciated his honesty cause it was obviuos he was high. I needed to see this and know this–I’ve seen him high so many times -but he told me he wasnt–I knew in my gut he was but didnt want to say anything cause I didnt want to break up–and seperate AGAIN———-I want live that way anymore. He know’s where he can go for free help—-it’s a one yr committment————I hope he chooses to get help–but it’s not up to me–the ball is in HIS court. I KNOW God is a God of restoration———–and he can restore my husband’s life & pride—I also know that this restoration may NOT include me——-and that is hard to take–but I love him enough to let him go———-just so he gets well –is really all that matter’s. Took me along time to get to this point——–and I have God to thank for that. PLus i eduated myself with books like” Women who love too much–when you keep wishing & hoping he will change” and books on co-dependency and books on love addiction. I had a HUGE part in enabling——-cause I didnt know anything about meth. I thought when I was really giving gas money for him to go look for a job that what he was doing & SOOOO many other excuses –some even crazy I fell for. I was really giving money for just enough gas to get to the dope dealers house—then give the remaining to the dope dealer for meth…. it’s sad–EDUCATE YOURSELF– the best site I have found is http://www.kci.org the anti meth site

  • asianbabyy

    TO KELLY: oh my gosh!! I understand now.. Wow, yeah I’ve been giving my boyfriend money because he’s like “babe I’m looking for jobs, I need some money for rides and to take the bus to school” I was kind of skeptical because why would you need 20 bucks when I did the research and he really only needed like 5 bucks.. He’s an impulsive liar and I lost all trust in him. He STILL won’t admit he’s been using meth. His friends even tell me he uses it..I really need help in revealing his true colors.. Any suggestions please?? Thank you!!

  • asianbabyy

    RE: Kelly
    Wow..that’s exactly how my boyfriend acts. He used my money for meth when I thought he was looking for work and “taking the metro” like I feel so foolish. But its so hard to let go of him now. I feel so stuck. He still won’t admit he’s using meth. I don’t know how to catch him, I need to make him fess up. Any suggestions?? Thanks.

  • kathy

    I am trying to find CHarity from 3-8-10. I can’t find you on face book please give me something more to look for i would like to chat

  • Christine

    ^^^^^same here, can’t find charity.

  • Christine

    To asianbabyy^^^ If he flips the situation on you he is guilty, and if he is in denial there is nothing you can do but walk away. And don’t give him any money. He can’t get help until he realizes his problem. My boyfriend has admitted to his problem but still won’t get help. My problem is I still have hope and try to help him.
    He has gone from doing cocaine everyday to pills about everyday to cutting it back to once or twice a month. He has friends that enable his drug habit. He thinks they are real friends but they are just drug buddies or people to get money from for drugs. He has an extensive criminal record for stealing for drugs and has a hard time getting jobs. He has a job now, which is waiting tables which scares me because he comes home with cash in his hand every night. It is very hard for me, I have to watch his every move and it just makes him feel like, well I might as well do drugs so you have a reason to worry. I really don’t know how much longer I can take this. We live together now and I can’t just throw him on the street. His only family is a brother who’s on the run from the law and we don’t know where he is and a sister who lives with her drug dealer boyfriend(who won’t allow him in their house) and their 3 kids. I feel like I’m stuck and hoping for something to change so I don’t have to live like this.

  • Sam

    My mom is suffering from an addiction im not quite sure if it is a cocaine addiction or heroine. I know for a fact that she is using drugs because i found the parafonilia in her room. I am scared and i dont know what to do. I am the only one in my family that knows about this. I feel as though i am all alone in this and i dont know what to do without getting my mom in trouble with the law. I know in the past she has been addicted to drugs but i never knew how badly… I cant abandon my mom she is the only one i have in this world to take care of me.

  • MIMI

    I HAVE BEEN MARRIED TO AN ADDICT FOR 14 YEARS…AND IN THOSE 14 YEARS, HE’S RELAPS MANY MANY TIMES. I MET HIM WHEN I WAS 18 YEARS OLD. I DIDNT UNDERSTAND WHAT IT WAS TO GET INVOLVED WITH SOMEONE ADDICTED TO HEROIN SO I CONTINUED THE RELATIONSHIP. I FOUND MYSELF FALLING SO DEEPLY FOR THIS MAN THAT I TRIED MY BEST TO HELP HIM NOT REALIZING THAT I WAS DAMAGING MYSELF. IN THE COURSE OF 14 YEARS, WE HAD 3 BOYS. MY OLDEST IS 13 YEARS OLD…AFTER LOTS OF PLEADING, FIGHTS AND CRIES, I’VE DECIDED TO LEAVE HIM. SADLY, I AM STILL INLOVE WITH THIS MAN BUT I HAVE THROWN IN THE TOWEL ON HELPING HIM ANYMORE. NOW ALL I FEEL IS GUILT. DID I DO THE RIGHT THING??? LEAVING THE MAN I LOVE FOR THE LIFE AND WELL BEING OF MY CHILDREN??? I THINK SO…. BUT I DO STILL CARE ABOUT HIM. GOD HELP ME!!!!

  • Suzi

    Well it happen agian last night =( I don’t know what to do

  • http://www.spiritualriver.com/how-can-i-help-an-alcoholic-or-drug-addict-specific-things-you-can-do-to-help/ tessa

    i stumbled across this web site because i have no one , except for an addict to talk to. I live with my boyfriend i have no where else to go i have no money , basically no independence , i have no job find myself extremely depressed. I have been diagnosed with Social Anxiety which is why i am still with my boyfriend he is my first and only , i rely on him for everything . We are constantly struggling to survive , he has very bad back problems . Every time we get a little bit of money it goes on weed , i do not like his behavior when he smokes it he becomes very slow unwilling to do anything makes the hugest messes has no morals , and does not understand social norm. He also the other day bought fourty dollars of cocaine . I asked him to stop , and he said he will only do it every few months , which is not an answer that puts my mind to ease , i feel like i have no options he knows i wont leave him because i have no where to go , i also find he can become violent and resentful . If he does not have his drugs he takes out his stress upon me. Can someone please
    tell me what i can do? how can i get out of this bleak life , i love him very much and cannot imagine a life with out him i very much want to help him so we can have a good life together and what about my depression and anxiety and social anxiety i have no medical no money to afford these medications life seems so bleak and so impossible i just wish i could do something.

  • ks

    Tessa, google state mental health services and see if there is a state funded metal health service where you can talk to someone about your situation. If you have any relatives or friends, even if they are far away, try to get enough money for a greyhound ticket and get out of your current living situation. If you fear your boyfriend will become violent when you tell him you are leaving then don’t tell him at all, just pack a bag when he’s not around and leave without telling him.

  • VY

    I have been married for 42 years to a man that has struggled with alcoholism. He gave it up for 10 years what a blessing..but then 12 years ago it started up again. On top of all this he has an alcohol related car accident about 30 years ago and it resulted in a head injury in which his whole personality changed and he lost all friends because of this. Since then he has had no friends and his episodes with latent problems (obsessive compulsive behaviors)due to his head injury are exaggerated. We were married and have had 4 children..they are all adults now,gone and after that I took care of an invalid mother who did not live with us. My grandchildren cannot be around him and his drinking is all about he is going to do what he wants and anger when he gets drunk on a daily basis. At work does not drink gets home at 3pm starts and passes out nightly due to drink . he is a good man with a good heart but all that has changed over the years now he is a selfish bastard and I want to leave and made plans to leave but then the guilt sets in. I am 61 years old..what can I do out there to support an old body that breaks down repeatedly…I wish I had someone to talk to get on the right path. No one can tell you what to do I guess…but making that decision is so hard. but staying here is making me crazy…I have to get out…

  • kandy

    VY, like you said no one can tell you what do, but people can help you and lead you down the right path. It take lots of prayer but not matter what your situation God will see you through. I am not sure if you are familiar with alanon its a program for people who are affected by a family members addiction it is a support group like AA meetings. At this point your husband is not thinking about you, that does not mean he does not love you. Addiction is a disease and does not allow for people to think clear. You have to worrie about you now and focus on what you want out of life. I will keep you in my payers, my husband has addiction problems so i know how it feels to love someone so much and want to help them.

  • iva

    Tessa,
    Your situation sounds alot like mine, and I know what you must be going through and what you are feeling. I have major depression and anxiety as well and live with my bf who is an amazing caring gentle respectful intelligent man who has the biggest heart I have ever seen. He helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel when I just cant see it, this is when he isnt using crack cocaine. He has been taking care of and supporting me for the past couple of years and i never thought this would happen to me but I became completely dependent on him and terrified of the thought of going out in the world and starting a new life, I dont know where or how to begin and I feel worthless. All I have is him and all he has is me. I have helped him a little with his struggles with addiction but he is still struggling and battling with his demons everyday, like today, its 3 am and I am still waiting up for him. I know he had a relapse cuz we always talk throughout the day when hes at work and today i havent talked to him since he walked out the door and i have been dialing him constantly all day to no avail. And alot of money has been withdrawn from the account throughout the day. I feel helpless, terrified and desperate not knowing where he is or if he is even alive. :( I love this man very much and I want to help him through this tough journey and help him to get to the day when he is healthy, clean and happy and I want to have a good life with him cuz i know we can, but i honestly am starting to think that girls like you and I need to just take care of ourselves first and get better because we cant help them when we are fighting our own battles with depression/anxiety. And being in an environment like this does not help us either.
    I have noone close to me that I can go to either, but you should see if you can reach out to extended family or old friends. You should just explain your situation and only heartless people wouldnt wanna help. At some point in everyones life they will need some sort of help, and its ok to ask for it when you need it! Im sure someone out there that you know will leave their door wide open for you! Good luck and I hope you take a step in the right direction… and i know how hard it is.. im in the same boat and trying to take the same steps. Keep me posted! *hugs*

  • desperate

    What can you do to help a crack addict who seemingly is also desperate to stop. I am desperate for my bf to stop using, he is the most amazing person I have ever meet but he is struggling with the demons. I am his main support system and Im starting to think thats working against me cuz things arent progressing very much. Hes open about his addiction but sometimes he minimizes the level of his struggles so I dont stress. He relapses atleast once a month and hasnt had more than two consecutive months clean in the past 5 years. i love this man very much and have never loved like this before, we truly have something beautiful, if it wasnt for the addiction and my depression our lives would be very close to perfect. please help! im exhausted n dont know what to do! thanks!

  • Cheranda

    Hello, I too am in a relationship & have been for 18 months. My bf is an alcholic. I’ve searched my life for a specfic type of person & I found him, but he is an alcholic. He has a heart the size of Texas, and he does special things for me all the time, and he buys me flowers & tells me I’m beautiful. He’s just awesome except for when he drinks. He has been through rehab, he went for 30 days. He had an accident, hit a tree, it was his 2nd dui in one week. After coming home from rehab, it was good, then he had to do jail time for the DUI’s. He just previously got out of jail on good behavior & I’ve caught him drinking again. He said he had 3 beers total in 3 days. I’m lost & confused. I don’t want to keep going through this over & over, but yet I can’t turn my back on him..he has no one! When he drinks, he turns into the devil…and he is keeping my nerves tore up 24/7. I don’t know what I should do!

  • Erwin Prat Molina

    Yo soy un adicto a la cocaina y llevo mas de seis años luchando con esta enfermedad, he sufrido mucho por esta situacion tanto o mas que mi familia, creo que los que enfrentamos esto somos muy valientes, porque los cambios que debemos hacer son extraordinarios, y asumir nuestra posicion como adictos es peor, socialmente somos marginados etc,etc pero en este momento despues de muchas batallas creo que por fin voy cuesta arriba, llevo mas de un año en abstinencia, con tratamiento ambulatorio pero intensivo, uno debe darse cuenta que esta lucha es por uno, no es de nadie mas si uno no se da la oportunidad, nadie te la dara porque al final todos pierden la esperanza y quieren librarse, no por maldad si no es que uno daña a todo el entorno y comienza la deseperacion de los nuestros,hoy me siento orgulloso por mis logros y por los conocimientos que obtuve(herramientas) para poder conocerme tanto a mi mismo que identifico a tiempo mis condiciones de riesgo, que me podrian llevar a una recaida, esto de las ganas de consumir no se quitan nunca , ni menos las actitudes de adicto porque los patrones vuelven a repetirse una y otra vez pero con el tiempo cada vez es un poco mas facil ,ademas lo mejor es que la vida toma otro sentido,les aconcejo que en casos muy avanzados se deben tomar decisiones por el enfermo porque este ya no maneja su vida sino que la droga es primero que todo y la mente se distorciona mucho, se debe ser firme ,sino simplemente se llega al desenlace final de esto que es la MUERTE, el amor es muy importante, recuerdenlo SIEMPRE atte…

  • Expat

    This one of the first websites I hit while trying to figure out how to help a friend. I live in Tokyo, he is Japanese I am not. He is 2 years younger than me but lately looks 20 years older than me. He has just lost his wife and 11 year old boy to divorce and the divorce is primarily due to finances and the finance problems are primarily due to his alcoholism and the accompanying health issues which include a couple of broken ribs sustained falling of a bicycle. He knows he needs to change. I want to help him. I talked to his wife and she said that a fresh start with the family would be possible if she saw the right changes in him. The thing is I do not see very well organized alcoholism treatment organizations here in Japan. So for the moment it looks like I am it.

  • Kiki

    Erwin Prat Molina estimo mucho lo que as escrito. Yo estoy en este momento tan confusa despues de dar me cuenta que mi pareja a estado fumando crack. Me ciento como si me eh dado de cabesa contra la pared. Cuando me di cuenta anoche no tenia palabras para hablar con el solo le dije “Es increible!!!” y me fui a otro cuarto de la casa. Me duele pensar que el dinero que tanto que me cuesta ganar en mi trabajo se tirado ala basura en drogas. Un me ciento furiosa, y se que tengo que ir a casa y conversar de lo sucedido con el pero aun no e formado en mi cabesa esa conversacion. No se como le voy ayudar.

    Gracias por tu hitoria,

    Kiki

  • n dickson

    I am in love with an alcoholic. It pains me to see him when he is drunk as he is so loving yet when he sobers up he acts emarassed and does not want me near him.

  • Catherine

    I have a spouse who loose’s his job due to his drinking. He lies and steals from me, my medication and from stores. I am at the stage where I asked him to go get help. He say’s he loves me and our family and that he needs us, I’ve reminded him that I can not help him, he want’s the comfort of our home and family and then in 2-3 weeks again will do his crap all over again. I’ve asked him to please leave and not to bother us (family). I’m ready to find support from Al-Anon meetings in my area. I’ve known my spouse since I was 13 now 39. If you have any suggestion’s please let me know.

  • Doug

    I have an ex-girlfriend who is becoming more and more deeply involved in a very serious addictive drug. The situation is complicated by several things: our breakup prior to her involvement in drugs, a similar developing drug habit in her best friend, my living one town away and not being able to get a clear picture of the facts, and last but perhaps not least my still very much alive love and devotion to her. I have not spoken very much to her in the last six months but saw her recently and heard and saw a whole bunch of things, which I won’t elaborate on here but which have driven me to this conclusion. I have no doubt that if I were to voice my concerns to her or her friend I would be lied to. I have seen addiction before and known addicts and I know this tiresome song and dance very well. I am very, very worried and confused and don’t know what to do, since I have no role to play in her life right now, and recognize that my feelings might be complicating my own worries. For what it is worth, I have finally discussed this with two more mutual friends of ours and was pleased/worried to learn that they share my concerns. I am looking for advice beyond ‘live for yourself’ because I have been working on that for six months or so now, and would like to think about a way to constructively worry about the love of my life.

  • Amy

    My 26 year old little brother is an opiate addict and has been using various drugs off and on since he was 12. He also has deep mental and emotional issues and the drugs only make these worse. He gets so down and depressed he tells us he wants to die and I don’t know what to do for him since he is an adult and I can’t force him to do anyhting. Our mom passed away about 2 and a half years ago so me and my sister feel a certain amount of responsibility for him. We care about him and hate seeing him ruining his life and feeling so sad! He has been on suboxone for a couple of years now and has recently started going off the suoxoneb and using Oxy’s or Delotid. We have found needles and spoons in his bathroom and found him passed out in his bathroom for hours. It is so distressing to watch this happening again and I don’t know what options I have to help him. Can anyone suggest a credible resource for advice on this kind of situation?? Thanks.

  • Anthony Olsen

    nobody cares about your proublems!

  • Hope

    Hi, the past 6 years I been with my loved husband…We went through to very hard time and situations with his drugs addition problem, was very hard I also had Panic Attacks, axiety, deppression…However, I dont really know if anyone of you believe but everything can be change. Just depend how much you believe, how much you love not only your partner but also yourself. I lost 2 bfs for the drugs in the past and for some reason i had the same situation with my partner. I can share with all of you that the only thing I did was trusting God, but really is from the bottom of my heart, with all my forces, praying day and night and asking people who i trust to do the same for us. You guys think you have no one but trust me you ARE NOT ALONE, we all have similar histories to share with people who we love but all the ones i read above sounds like no hope…If you want to win this fight the first step is DO NOT LOOSE HOPE, DO NOT LOOSE FAITH, TRUST GOD, DO NOT LOOSE YOU LOVE FOR THIS PERSON, it is very hard, i been there I am also in this fight but the best unfail solution i ever found was through GOD, I been cured from axiety, deppresion and panic attacks with a lot of pray, persistance, therapy and believe NOT anti depression TABLETS. You can heal yourself getting strong in your faith in God, he will listen to you, do you know how many times during the day I ask his to look after my love and make him strong to do not get in tentations? all the time…does not exist ex-addition but yes everyday life positive choice. The principal is also to look after yourself do not be afraid, god will guide you if you allow him to do it. This is NOT ABOUT ANY PARTICULAR RELIGION GOD IS ONLY ONE and he is care, he is love, he know how much you have been suffering so look for any place close to you, talk with someone in any church you feel comfortable, is a lot lot good people out there that may help you to be strong, that can also give you some loving words.
    Many times after 3 experiences in my life with the same problem i asked why??? Why the drug-dealers does not stop to ruin people’s life, the partner of this people, the parents, friends, children of them. It destroys a lot more than just the addicted one, but rather than try to understand is be part of the solution, is an group of things that you can do, praying is the most important one to guide you and bring a divine wisdom and strenght from inside out, second do any sports to put your anger and frustation away, do some therapy or talk with a friend or anyone who may listen to you, dont give up, learn to meditate and breath deeply as much as you can to bring you calmness ( you can find itunes exercises in every language).We are all special and love now days does not find in the corner so appreciate what you have, accepted and fight for the good, if you can’t anymore walk away with no guilty, only you know how much you can hold in your situation, trust yourself, have a lot lot lot of camomile tea :) I have many of them for all occasions. Every life has issues and in my opinion after everything I suffered and has stages I have been very very very angry but I am trying to use this for a positive change and it can only be done when you believe in yourself…I could only find this through GOD…I am not an expert on it. It just pain so deeply in my heart about all this beautiful, intelligent, talented, loveable people been taken from us by additions so what can I do about it? Just try to encourage anyone of you to make your prays, to find God in the middle of all this, with open heart to listen to him advices and bring peace again inside your mind, heart, home and life.
    I hope all of us can win this fight, is not impossible but how much can you take? How much do you believe in your partner to get better? And how much incondincional love do you have? Is very hard decisions but is all for the best that we fight for… I hope you all find happiness and peace again.
    Lots of love

  • Angel

    I have just asked my daughter, who is 20 and using crystal meth, to move out. She is on probation for drug possession, a DUI and a hit and run. She is no longer driving and has lost her job due to her drug use. I told her that as long as she didn’t use or if she felt she needed to use, she would go to rehab, she could stay. After throwing her cell phone at me for not giving her $40 (I assume for drugs), she left the house. I noticed after she left that my laptop and camera were missing. I read her text messages and found out that she is still using. I told her to return my laptop or I would report it stolen and I would give her her cell phone. I feel as though I have taken care of myself by setting these boundaries and sticking to them but I can’t help thinking that she would be better off here than with the drug addicts and drug dealers that she will probably be with. She has no money either which also makes me worry about how she will get money for living, drugs, etc. Can someone respond to help me stick to my decision and know that I did the right thing?

  • Patrick

    @ Angel – I would not beat yourself up over the situation, it sounds to me like she is completely out of control and you are doing the best you can. That is quite a lot of chaos that your daughter created for herself, and she obviously needs to get help.

    I don’t have all the answers and it is tough to know when to put your foot down and when to give in with situations like this. I think you are probably right to stand your ground and only offer to help her if she is willing to get professional help. She definitely needs it. Plus, it is not fair to you to expect you to support her when she is that out of control.

    Whatever happens, I hope she gets the help she needs. I think you should seek support too, Angel…possibly at an Al-anon meeting or similar groups. Good luck.

  • sandy

    All I ever see is what can we do to help these people. I have 3 brothers who have drug or alcohol problems. All have lived with me at some point. I had to put them all out. Now I have a son who is an alcoholic. Right now I dont know if he is dead or alive. I have become numb to all this. The ups and downs are tearing me apart. Hope one minute, more of the same the next. I have been around addictions for most of my life. Have even had a problem with alcohol myself at one time. I am so SICK and TIRED of people who cant deal with life. My conclusion is if they want to become healthy they will. It is simple, just not easy. I don’t want my son home anymore. He is making his fathers and my life miserable. I dont steal from him I dont ruin his things I dont cost him his jobs. I didnt cause his divorce. I try to play by the rules. I try to have as normal a life as I can. I am through. Mental problems are not easy and addictions make them worse. He is on his own now. I have to be ok with that because I have had enough!

  • jbeans

    Hi,
    Al-anon works.. All of the ladies who are on here writing about how their boyfriends are addicts or alcoholics, You NEED to look up local al-anon meetings. Before you can even think about helping a loved one in a situation like that YOU NEED TO HELP YOURSELF! STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND GO TO A MEETING! DON’T BE AFRAID TO UNCOVER and REVEAL things about yourself that you may not want to face. HELP YOURSELF, Learn about addiction, Don’t try to change the ones you love, PRACTICE DETACHMENT (very important), and your lives will become clearer I GUARANTEE IT! ps .. PRAY for yourself and for you loved ones..! TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME<3 I'll keep you all in my prayers tonight..

  • jbeans

    i take that back EVERYBODY WHO IS ON HERE WRITING WHO HAS A LOVED ONE WHO HAS AN ADDICTION TO DRUGS OR ALCOHOL PLEASE GO TO AL-ANON! pS I don’t want to say addicts or alcoholics because that is just putting a label on people.. they are people whp are addicting to drugs and alcohol.

  • Mom in Lexington

    I know that Alanon if free, but will it help a drug addict? My son is 23 and he is addicted to prescripton drugs and crack. I have been to Alanon meetings because I attended a few when I was married to his father who is an alcoholic. We have no money to go to a treatment center. He is willing to get help. This is what he is telling me.

  • uh huh been there did that

    I found it very useful when i found the group that wasnt about the addict anymore. There is nothing you can do til this person is ready to stop the addiction. My advice to you and it worked for me also. Stop worrying about what they are doing stop looking for them stop pacing the floor waiting for the addict to come home. In actuality where has it taken you? You lose yourself in these people. Give yourself a break start thinking about yourself sometimes. The addict is never thinking about you while your worrying if they are dead or alive, save yourself. 13 years of living with an addict last 2 years i finally figured out there was nothing i could i had given all the moral support and all myself to help them, in the process made myself physically ill not giving myself needs. Killing 2 birds with one stone as they say. Decide for yourself, the addict is not going to let you decide for them. Be their stepping stone, but take care of you too.

  • http://www.youravon.com/aweldon Anita

    Yes! been there than that as well. However, I’ve learned and grew up. Absolutely! You cannot do anything for any body if they do not want to do anything for themselves.
    Do not asked what you can do for an alcoholic or a drug addict, rather ask what you can do for yourself if you are in that situation. My little wisdom would be; RUN AS FAR AS YOU CAN.
    we are the product of our own choices since the day we were born. When we learned between right from wrong and love or abuse it is up to us to put up with it. For anyone to abuse you and tell you they love you and you take it. It’s plain STUPID! Unless, you only feel love when you are abuse……that is still plain STUPIDITY!!! You are a human being and even animal should not be abuse, take care of YOU because NO one else will.
    An FYI you can sugar, milk or chocolate coat it, they are what they chose to be an alcoholic or drug addict. It cannot be a human when your dad pushed your 8 month pregnant mother under a cucunot tree and cuased her to go on labor and killed your unborn brother. It is not human when your ex-husband (husband at the time) who’s 200lbs. 5’11 drunk pushed you in bed pregnant, then you are worried you could lost the baby because he pushed you hard enough that it hurts your stomach. You forgave him and but then you found yourself in the E.R. for 4hrs. and the doctor told you “you are lucky that your head was not open”.
    I AM NO LONGER A VICTIM AND I CHOSE TO NOT EVER WILL BE.

  • An Addict in recovery

    I am a recovering drug-addict. Unfortunately, I spent my time from age 12 – 24 using drugs until I finally had admitted to the fact that I was powerless over my addiction, and that my life had become unmanageable. Part of this came since my family was no longer willing to enable me even though they wanted to help me yet I wasn’t willing to help myself.

    With the help of family, I became willing to check into an outpatient rehab facility where there was much growth; however, the real growth began with the first step of surrender. Addiction is obviously a self-diagnosis. We usually end up in jails, institutions, and sadly enough, many die. Likewise I say mental prisons, bondage of self, and spiritual decay. (I would imagine this is the same feeling of suffering for family members and loved ones who are involved with the still suffering addict’s life) As I began to work the 12 steps of recovery, I began to learn more about the perceptions, habits, and behaviors I had developed that kept me separated from the “fruits of life”. Using was only a symptom in an attempt to enhance my fun, or numb my pain.

    Jails, and institutions can help one get clean, but it won’t keep you clean. I began to attend meetings (much like al-anon) for addicts. Here I had a network of support where we share the common theme: All of us are trying to live instead of scraping by to survive. (I began to see that it seems to be the case with all of humanity -drugs or no drugs-) While attending meetings, and working steps, with help, I began to work through what I like to call “discomforts of growth”. For the first time of my life I had actually felt that I was working through situations rather than attempting to fight against them to get around, above or below. The truth is, our struggles can either build character assets, or entertain defects of character. It all depends on how we treat every given situation to the best of our ability.

    Nearly two years later, I am still clean, I have not had to use, and yes, I still attend meetings, and work steps. Because of the spiritual principles that are embedded in this program, I have attracted a healthy lifestyle, great relationships, I have a personal relationship with my family, a connection with a higher power of my understanding, and most of all… I am happy… I was compelled to share this story as a message of hope for the still suffering addict, as well as those who are affected by loved ones in active addiction. In this moment, my thoughts and prayers goes out to all of you.

  • CH

    My best friend began being a addict when we were in high school. He began with weed and then went to other things like cocaine and meth and the other “party drugs” on top of that he was drinking a lot. He ended up going to rehab because he became dependent on meth. He has been fired from all his jobs because of addiction. He has been fired for being drunk while on the job.One of his job he threw a phone at a window and another was because he passed out in the back of a truck and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. There are many other things he has done while under the influence which got law enforcement involved. After getting clean from meth he just started smoking weed again and drinking I did not see a problem till a couple months ago he started getting really aggressive with me and other people and acting out. He has recently decided to stop smoking weed but he has started drinking more. He became hard to be around while drinking and I told him I longer want him drinking around me. I see him less because of the choice that I made not to see him while he is drinking. I’m am happy with my choice but he is not getting any better I feel like he is getting worse he is drinking alone for the most part and blacking out and hallucinating. He has started taking prescription drugs as well. I just don’t know what to do anymore.He began to take steps to get clean but then after a week and one meeting he felt that he was ready to try things on his own, I talked to him about getting help a couple times but he says that drinking is a part of him and that he will not stop cause he does not see anything wrong. I just don’t know to do anymore, I’m afraid of losing him.

  • Camilla

    From 19-26 I was in a relationship with a man with a substance abuse problem. He’s about 5 years older than me. When I was in my early 20s, his usage didn’t seem all that abnormal to me. At that time, all of our friends would go out and party and occasionally use drugs. At 25, he was diagnosed with lukemia..he recovered from it and wanated to pursue a clean and sober living. He was told by his doctors he cannot drink anymore given the medication he’s on. That didn’t last very long. For about a year he was sober, then back to drugs and drinking. I cheated on him when I was 22..from that point on, he blamed all of his behaviors and substance abuse on my cheating. We had several breakups and makeups but, it still never dawned upon me that he has a severe problem as the made it all sound…very normal/not a big deal. Late last year, finally making the realization, I left the relationship for good. This is after learning he had another relationship for three years.

    The other girl shed a lot of light on what’s really been going on with him. He had concealed his problem really well and as with all addicts, became sociopathic. Lied for years about anything and everything.

    After I left him, about a month later the lukemia returned. I didn’t know about this until 4-5 months after the fact when he reached out to me, telling me about the lukemia and that he’s finally clean and sober and realizing what he’s done to me, her and his family.

    I finally spoke to him after about 7 months..now the anger of what he’s done to me has worn off, but, I feel very vulnarable to him. He has always manipulated me by saying I’m the only one who can save him and I have always tried to help. I’m wondering at this point, if I should just block him out…or try to help – though I’ve never been able to, what should make me think this time is different.

    I don’t know if he’s sober or not since he’s always lied. I want him to get his life together for his family’s sake..it’s very sad because he’s lost everything and at one point he used to be very successful.

  • tyler

    my step dad drinks every week and weekend and i want to know how i can help him stop drinking he is addicted to please help me as soon as possible my mom and him fight please thank you sooooooooooooo much tyler

  • D

    I am at a loss. I met my girlfriend at work. I had always had a crush on her and something changed and she started to have feelings for me too.

    A month into our relationship she told me she was an alcoholic and wanted to get sober. She had been to treatment before and she was sober for 8 months and then relapsed. I decided to stick by her because like most of us on here I wanted to help her get sober and happy. She has told me a million times she is happiest when she is sober. She was drinking a lot though. All day, every day. Rarely sleeping. She was drinking at work and eventually it caught up to her. Our boss found out and told her she could go to treatment or she was fired.

    She went to treatment. She was doing so well while she was there and when she got out she went to meetings and moved into a sober house. She even had 4 months sobriety. Then she relapsed and she called that one a “slip.” Then a few weeks later she showed up to our anniversary dinner drunk. And the cycle continued. Her last relapse started on a Saturday..I flipped out and she broke up with me saying she didn’t want to disappoint me anymore. She proceeded to drink for 4 straight days. I helped her sober up and I basically told her she needs help. She was crying and agreed. She said she needed a sponsor. I told her I can’t be her sponsor. I can’t help her stay sober. I am drowning in this relationship. I want to stay with her for a million reasons from the fact that we work together (awful reason I know but…) to the fact that I love her, want a future with her and would love to get married to her someday. Her parents were coming into town this weekend and she said she wouldn’t drink and last night she texted me from the bar saying she was drinking. I don’t know what to do. I have been going to Al-anon for about 8 months now. But I can’t stop focusing on her. I want to be with her and allow her to relapse and get sober on her on. But I end up crying in bed alone. I don’t know how to detach with love. I don’t know how to do this but I don’t want to lose her.

  • E

    I’ve got a friend, who is kinda drug addicted. I don’t know him for a long time, but in this short time, he found strenght to tell me some things he has been doing, and right now I’m scared what he could do next. He is a smart guy, but has a kind of shocking story in his background (family problems, health and so on), and because of that he started taking drugs, 3 years ago. He wasn’t doing it constantly, but as I can see, he has tried many things. Right now, he is clean for about 5 months, but in the way he’s talking, and what he’s doing, I have the feeling he could go back. I’m already giving him all of my support, but I don’t know if it’s making any effort, because he’s always saying that he has lost every interest in his life. He’s totally indifferent to everything, and living his life from one day to another. I’m really trying to help him, and I just want to find a way to keep him away from things that could harm him. How can I explain him that life is much more than he thinks right now?

  • Tara

    How bad is it to smoke weed? My boyfriend smokes about 2 to 3 times a week and has done for over 10 years… he doesn’t see it as a problem. We argue constantly about it but he says he doesn’t want to change and gets angry and defensive. Am i overreacting? I am worried this will lead to heavier drug use..

  • jeffro

    tara,i am 48,smoke weed for about 25 years…sure, in my younger years tried several other drugs out,but i just smoke my weed for the past 20 years…nothing else..dont even drink alcohol,no beer at all,occasionally a glass wine,and i smoke everyday,later in the day or evenings.
    so i dont think u have to worry about heavier drug use,since he smokes over 10 years now.pls,dont give him to much of a hard time,or imagine,would you like he come home after work, drunk all the time?
    wish you both good luck!

  • laura svedin

    Need help with child and my Boyfriend (The babes dad)drinks and spends his money on pot I’m at a loss I love him but I’m only 6 week what should I do will the baby end up like him? How do I make him stop spending his money on things like beer and pot?

  • Troubled In Va

    My son recently returned home from an extended stay on the West Coast. While all indications were that he was, “clean”, he has returned with a larger drug problem. We have recently read that the only real cure is ibogaine. Has anyone had experience with this, “miracle cure”? We are desperate for help. Past stays at rehab centers have not helped.

  • Patrick

    Ibogaine is not a miracle cure. See here and read carefully, it has been used in clinical trials but works best with follow up counseling and therapy, etc.

    This is similar to Bill Wilson experimenting with LSD as a cure for alcoholism….

    This is the only clinical trials I could find:

    http://ibogaine.desk.nl/clin-perspectives.html

  • Anonymous

    my son doesn’t want help. He does good for a bit then each time he crashes, it’s worse and he wants help less.

  • http://spiritualriver.com Aonnymous Says:

    My 24 year old son is a drug addict. I lost my husband of 40 years 4 months ago. My son used drugs for several years but after the death of his father and with the help of a drug addict girlfriend, he has been robbing me every chance he gets. He has stolen thousands of dollars and now I have nothing. But worse, he has stolen the grieving my other children and I need for their father. We are all so consumed by his addiction. Every time we get him help, he flees. I am his mother, I love him. He says he wants help but never follows thru. What can I do?

  • Ivy

    I need some advice. My 31 year old daughter is pregnant and admitted to me she was an alcoholic but quit drinking 4 months ago. I called my 35 year old niece who is close to her and asked her to tactfully help my dtr by speaking to her. There was no tact and but again my dtr called screaming at me, something she has been doing for the past 10 years. There was not talking to her, yes I made a mistake involving my niece, I should have spoken to my dtr myself but she only screams and yells at me when I try and speak to her about her drinking. I’ve seen her in the worse conditions but she is trying and I feel I’ve overstepped a boundry – I think I’ll never see her and I don’t know how to fix it. Help

  • ann

    My husband has been battling crystal meth use for the on and off for the past 7 years. He started back up again about 6 months ago and keeps getting calls for his “friends.” He says that if he does not go through it how can he help others. I’m so confused and hurt. He is a different person when he is on that stuff. He recently lost his job and he will disappear for days at a time. I go to work and always wonder what I will come home to or if he is at home. I cringe when he is gone and the phone rings. I’m afraid it will be a bad call. I love him and cherish him. He is a wonderful person, good father and grandfather. He just has a problem that I have no control over. Any suggestions?

  • http://wishboneswife@yahoo.com LISA GOLDEN

    HI MY NAME IS LISA 3 YRS AGO I LOST MY BABY BROTHER TO ADDICTION HE WAS VERY CLOSE TO ALL THE NIECE AN NEPHEWS IT HAS BEEN SO HARD AND NOW I HAVE A NEPHEW GOING DOWN THE SAME PATH HE IS IN A LOT OF EMOTIONAL PAIN AS WAS MY BROTHER MY FAMILY IS IN NEED OF HELP I DONT KNOW IF WE CAN GO THROUGH THIS AGAIN

  • sufferingsilently

    Hi. I have been with my husband for three years; however, we have only been married for 7 1/2 months. I found out about his drug use after we started dating. I didnt know how much of a problem it really was. During the course of our relationship he was sent to prison…he’s never had an actual “drug charge” however he was in an addictive state when the crimes were committed. I stuck by him for the year and when he came home things seemed great. Until he relapsed. Now, we have been on this constant roller coaster f relapse and sobriety for over a year. At first, he was able to sustain for a few months before relapsing, NOW its only a few days (like 7-10) before he “relapses”. He will get mising for days at a time and is putting his job and family in jeopardy. I dont blame myself for his problem, however, after reading the article I do realize that I have/am enabling him by doing some things. Like I said, we are married and I am expecting our first child in 8 weeks. When he’s not high, he is a loving, caring, compassionate man. but when he’s high, he is an angry, hostile, mad at the world person. I CANT STAND IT…but I love him and knows he can be a better man if he gets clean. He has stated that he has a problem and wants help, however he WONT go into a residential facility, so it has to be on “his terms”. A week or so ago he made a call to a addiction program and has an appointment in 3 days; however, I don’t think he’s gonna go. How can I detach myself w/o ending my marriage. I don’t want a divorce b/c I do love my husband, but I can’t take the stress anymore. There have been times when I have tried to detach myself but his mother seems to reel me back in with questions and such. How can I get her to detach herself also or at least allow me to detach from the situation?

  • beer

    i drink to much

  • ALPHONSEPR

    I have a step daughter who has stolen from us and we recently found out she is on drugs, living with a boyfriend who is on drugs and now she is pregnant, she blames everyone for her troubles, her mom is desperate and while she has stopped enabling her , she still answers her calls. We have set boundaries, but it is the way my wife feels after her daughter calls her.

    What can i do?

  • Dinorah

    My son is 22, I believe he has been smoking marihuana for more than 4 years. I found out a year ago, my husband and I have been talking to him asking him to stop, without any luck. He was given a ticket for possesion of marihuana, he thought he had under control and that he was going to get a notice in the mail about the ticket. He thought wrong, he was caught again and was arrested for both infractions. He was in jail for three days. I thought that this was going to help him and teach him a lesson. He got scared and he said it was a horrible place. This happened last week. This morning we gave him a good 2 hour sermon. This evening when he came out of the bathroom, he was high! I tried to talk to him. He argues that soon marihuana is going to be legal that I won’t be able to say anything. He also says that he is gonna get a medical card to be able to do it legally because he has a medical condition that he is constipated. He says he is gonna get his medical record history and will get the card from a doctor. He says he smokes it because it feels good.My husband is not dealing very well with it. He feels that he gave everything to raise his children right and that this is not fair. My husband doesn’t have the patience to deal with it and there are arguments with our son everyday. My son is usualy during the arguments but when he is high he talks back a bit. I don’t know how to help him, he doesn’t want to admit that he has an addiction! What am I supposed to do? I don’t know how to act anymore. He doesn’t have a car and we give him rides from and to work. I told him that he needs to save his money to buy a car, he makes about $800 a month and will continue college in September. He thinks that I should buy him a car, I told him no. I don’t know if we should continue giving him rides to and from work.He gets out at 10 pm and there is no bus. He is an adult but I still want to help him so that he can save for a car, but he doesn’t.He spends the money either eating out with friends, movies, and marihuana. He is a great human being, well liked by others but I feel that he is a manipulator. Help! I don’t know what to do anymore!

  • kitty

    my boyfriend is addicted to pain medication and last friday I threw him out, I’ve tried everything to get him to stop, now i’m so scared that my boyfriend will die, I cant sit back and watch another person i love die from this disease, (i lost my best friend to addiction) I love him but I feel like im dying too, the pain and misery im going through is unbearable at times. I’ve done everything i can to try and stop him from using but I cant. I hope that this will be his wake up call, I hope he realises that I’m not going to take him back until he stops, he will die otherwise, did i do the right thing by asking him to leave? what if he dies, I dont think i can take much more of this pain, I’ve got an 8 year old daughter that i need to live for, it feels like my boyfriends addiction is tearing me apart. Help me

  • V

    Kitty:

    I had to read the beginning of your post twice because I thought it could be my son’s girlfriend talking. But she hasn’t kicked him out yet. He is 24 and also addicted to pain meds. He’s been to rehab twice now, the first time for cocaine, the second time for pain meds. Now he is using again.

    I feel a lot like you do, I am so afraid that he is killing himself and I’m just standing by waiting. The pain of that for me is terrible. I don’t want to just accept that I may lose him. I want to fight for him over and over again. I feel like I’m turning my back on him, and I’m so afraid every night. But sometimes I can realize that everything else I did when I stood by him did not work, so that helps me realize this is the right thing, to stand firm. So I just tell him I am here for him and I believe in him. I say “relapse happens, and so does recovery, and I’m here for you and I love you. I’m reaching out to you, I want you to know I am here and offering to help you.” I hope he can hear me. I have to also make sure that it isn’t filling every conversation because then he avoids me. I try to mention specific times we had together that were fun or funny, and I say out loud how much I enjoy his funny, silly personality. I want to speak to him, not his addiction.

    It’s like he’s two people. I call one by his name, Addiction. I hate him and he is very strong. He speaks to me over my son’s voice in a deep emotionless tone. But underneath him, I can still hear my son’s voice, too. In and out like a roller coaster. My son’s voice still has hope, but also fear.

    I pray, and I try to imagine holding my son in my arms, and handing him over into the arms of God. It brings me some peace momentarily, and I pray for strength and guidance. I am going back to AA, and that has really helped me most before. My friends and family try to understand, but they don’t feel the overpowering love and helplessness that I feel. So I turn to the people at AA, and they DO know how I feel. There is almost always a meeting nearby. I am going tomorrow night. I think it makes my son feel happy and stronger when he knows I am going there without him, for me. Somehow this seems to make him feel supported and loved. My prayers are with you.

  • ALPHONSEPR

    To all of you who are asking for help. The only thing you need to remember is that the people in your life with the addiction have to become accountable and be ready to make the necesary steps to change. If you let them drag you into their chaos and accept their excuses and enable them by doing this for them , no matter how little they are, this situation will cripple you to the point that you will not function, therefore you are doing the same thing to yourself as the addict is, which is not making the steps to change the situation you have put yourself in. The power to change is in all of us, we just have to make that first step and the next one and the next one and never look back. Be strong and realize that love has nothing to do with helping someone.

  • jill

    I have a very close relation who has gotten himself hooked on cold medicine to get high. and has ruioned his relationship with every one who cares for him. I feel like i can’t help him cuz he is in denil and now he sits in jail. with no where to go. I am lost i don’t know what to do for him. Please help.
    thanks

  • Mr. Smith

    I’ve been trying to get my girlfriend into rehab for weeks. Last week I really believe that she meant it. But something would come up, and she promised that she would do something “tomorrow”. Thursday we had a big blow up over it, and I didn’t hear from her until yesterday. She called me crying, telling me she was near death. (Emotionally) So I said, I’ll come get you right now, if you’re ready to go to rehab RIGHT NOW!! She kept putting me off and finally said, Give me an hour. I haven’t heard from her since. I refuse to call her or text her. I told her that she better take the offer, while it’s still on the table. Her entire family has given up on her.
    She is stunningly beautiful, with a college education, and is homeless, jobless, pennyless and pitiful.

  • Mr. Smith

    To Jill
    From my studies, jail might be the best place for him to be. Why is he in jail? Refuse to help him unless he’s willing to help himself. I’m thinking that if my girlfriend was in jail, it might be enough to shake her back to the real world. It’s hard, Believe me, I know.

    I’m tired of people telling me to just get over her. I think that getting her help is MY drug. I’m going to therapy over it. Hope it helps me.

  • http://SpiritualRiver/AddictionHelp Kim

    I have been married for 27 years now to a wonderful intelligent man. The problem is that he is having an affair with alcohol which affects not only me but our children and family and friends. It has gotten worse over the past 13 years because his best friend and father figure committed suicide when he was in his 60’s and my husband was 40. I can’t say that the suicide triggered the alcohol problem but it has made it worse.
    I was an enabler because I did supply him at times with it because I thought it was what made him happy and I felt it was a way to keep him. I recently have seperated myself from him because I told him I needed some time to myself. His alcohol has caused me to feel depressed and bad about who I am as a person. I have allowed that by staying. I left only for 4 days and during that time he called nonstop begging me to come back and life wasn’t worth living without me. While I was with him I was very emotionally abused. That is part of the reason I finally felt strong enough to leave. Here is my question….he crashed while I was gone and decided after 5 days of pleading for me to come home which I never did, has sought help on his own and is in detox for 3 to 5 days and then rehab. My husband is VERY controlling and I feel like maybe this is just a step to get me back and start all over again with the same drinking and emotional abuse toward me. I feel it is better for me to still stay seperated while he gets the help he needs. I am a very giving and kind person and there is a HUGE part of me that says I need to be here in our home for him. I don’t know if I am strong enough yet to keep supporting “his” problems without some distance. In a way I think I am stronger because I have realized I don’t have to “handle” his problems but I can “support” him. Do you think it is better for me to come home and help him or keep giving myself time and distance? I left to help him realize I wont be here if there isn’t a change. He hit rock bottom because I think he does love me and doesn’t want to hurt me or lose me but once again should I give myself more time to be away or will that only make things worse for him and his recovery? I want what is best for our relationship but I realize I have been a codependent too and think that time will help both of us heal and we can become stronger. Should I go back home to support him??

  • Losing my sanity

    Hello. The reason I am writing this is because I have no one else to talk to. I have been married to my husband for going on 4 years. We met in the military, and while he was in the military, he hurt his back. After we both got out of the service we moved to his home town. When we got here, he started getting pain meds from the VA. I, not knowing anything at all about drug addictions, did not see what was happening to him until it was too late. After about a year of him taking them, he admitted to me that he had been doing heroin as well. He told me that he was an addict and that he needed help. He started going to a methadone treatment center and then he quit. He started doing the same thing again so I told him that he either goes back to the treatment center, or I am telling his family and suggesting that he goes to rehab. So he went back to the treatment center. He continued the treatment center for about a year and recently he said he was tired of going there and that he wanted to quit. He said that he wanted to just go back to the doctor and get his pain meds again but he asked me if I would hold them for him and give them to him as prescribed. I have tried this before in the past but he would always find them and take them a little at a time and then deny that he took them. As if they just disappeared in thin air. So I told him I would keep them and I bought a safe that is impossible for him to break into without me knowing. This has been going on for about a month now. My concern right now is that is it naive to believe that the only drugs he is taking are the ones I give to him 3 times a day? I constantly think he is lying to me and I am stressed to my max. I am always thinking too much into things and I don’t know what to do at this point. I have tried the disconnection thing, but turning my back on it and acting like it wasn’t happening, and acting like it was his problem, not mine, just was not true. It is my problem too because we have a life together. Bills would not get paid because he would tell me he paid them but he really spent it on drugs. This whole thing is such a burden because no one else knows about it, so I have no one to talk to when I am stressed. The only solution that keeps popping in my mind is to tell his parents and get them involved so I can get some support, but if I do that all hell will break loose and I can’t handle it. And on top of all this, my son has ADHD and 3 times now some of his meds have come up missing. Once it was almost 90 pills, as I had just gotten them refilled and the whole bottle just up and disappeared. Of course he denied that he had anything to do with them being missing. Now, just the other day his dad is missing $700 from his house. We live very close to him and my husband has a key to the house. I feel guilty because as soon as I heard about it the first thing that popped in my head was that my husband stole it. I mean, no one broke in there house, and his dad had the money hidden away, and I know that my husband knows where his hiding places are because he grew up in that same house. I will stop now, because I could go on and on. Do you have any advice for me at all? I would be grateful for any advice at all.

  • Patrick

    @ Losing my sanity – I would get help for YOU first. Get to Al-anon. This is priority number one. Share your story honestly with the people there. You have to do this, for the sake of your sanity.

    Number two, I think the idea of the safe is maybe one step too far….like you said he can easily buy extra pills from other sources or get additional prescriptions filled that you do not know about, etc. If he could stay clean using the safe idea, then he could stay clean without it too. Just my opinion of course, but I have played that game myself in the past (with different substances and different control schemes) and it never worked. And it never will.

    You need to get help for yourself first. Stop focusing on him and get yourself to an Al-anon meeting. If you try that and it is no good, then go to another town and find a different meeting. This is the way to the support you need and the start of new answers for you. They can help you at Al-anon better than we can help you on here.

    Good luck.

  • Losing my sanity

    Thank you Patrick. I really appreciate you answering so quickly. Although I really dislike being in a group of people, I will at least try an Al-anon meeting. From reading all the stories people have shared, it seems to really help people so I will try it.

    If there are “steps” for non addicts dealing with addicts, then I am at the angry stage and hopefully I can find a way to let go of my anger.

    Again, thank you very much.

  • Alvilda

    I’m a 30 something year old daughter who just found out that her father has a problem. None of us really know to the fullest extent of what anyone’s “addiction” is. With that being said, an addiction is an addiction. Regardless of what you consume, inhale, snort or the amount of it. This much I do know. At first I thought that him smoking joints again like he did when he was younger, was actually alright. From what I knew it was once in a while and nothing very serious. Everything seems to pivot around him loosing his job and forcing him into early retirement. I remember the day he came home, very well. A few days after I noticed he took a beer and was getting ready to take off in the car. When I spoke up he started to shrug it off, but then said I was right and put it away. Now, he fills a thermos with alcohol and takes off, with his weed and anything else I’m certain. He’s growing his own plants in the house, making hash oil w/butane, bought coke in Mexico (when my mom thinks he didn’t) and is looking really unhealthy. He’s rude at times and then can be extremely sweet. My eyes witnessed him making the hash oil out of butane and smoking it w/friends offered it to me. Started giving me the “oh c’mon speech” and when I kindly reminded him of my responsibilities (such as my disabled son) he let it go, and I walked out of the room. I’m happy I witnessed this, because we all tend to think that the drugs and or alcohol can’t all be that bad and they will change. We all believe this because we know the good in them, their potential. My mother, whom I adore with all my heart is soul is learning in this. She’s the enabler. Always happy to share a story of her week or good times, but none of them include my father. Did I mention my father also runs out of his adderol script two weeks before he’s suppose to? That he also takes pain meds (prescribed from a doctor) And gets them from his friends? That he’s on steriods, not from a doctor, can’t get it up so he’ll take a pill for that and is literally starting that downward spiral that he can’t hide anymore?

    I see my father as an amazing man. Beautiful, mistakes and all. This is his life and his path and his lessons. Yet, while I say that…..it’s tearing me apart and I barely see him.

    I’m the rock in the family and a life skills trainer. No one is exempt from having this happen to any loved one, ever. I have no skills to cope with this so I’m going to see the doctor on Friday and get hooked up with a counselor.

    As I write this, I wish everyone on this board, peace. peace of mind, peace in each moment, and peace in knowing you can’t change anyone. Ever. We can’t control or micro manage them or their addiction(s) either. But what we can do, is confront the situation and make healthy emotional boarders for us, Be there when they do need us and be strong. Tonka Tough strong.

    Namaste.

  • Lola

    I am 18, the only child of divorced parents, with all my family living in other states besides my father and learned almost a year ago that my mother has been an alcoholic for almost 20 years. At first, I was completely in denial. There was no way that I could have missed that, I was sure of it. But now I see that everyone, literally everyone, around me who was older than me knew and had never told me in order to protect me. When I was 13 my parents divorced, and my mother never recovered. She became depressed, hateful, angry and empty. She got better over a year or two, but then my grandfather, her father, became extremely ill and then died last April. That sent her over the edge. She stopped talking to people, even me. She became even more hateful and bitter, drinking even more. Suddenly, we had no money. I had some money saved, but at age 16 I was suddenly buying groceries, paying for itunes, netflix, prescriptions, drug store items, even the water bill. I know those arent big things, but when I have no income and watch my mother sleep all day while I pay for everything and clean up after her, it adds up emotionally. Then in December, she was got incredibly drunk over Christmas, nearly destroyed our relationship with her family and brought us back a day early. That very day, she decided to make a fire in the fire place, that wouldnt start, so she poured gasoline on it. She burned her face, hand and arm. I had the flu and still had to take care of her. Luckily my grandmother came to my house for three weeks to help me. She promised to stop drinking. Since then, I have caught her drinking three times and moved to my dads every time. She has been to detox twice, checking herself out before it is complete. Last night, when I moved out for the third time, my dad and I called the police on her, mostly to make sure she was not dead and to forcibly get her to detox. That reached a new emotional level for me. She is a menace to herself, taking sleeping pills and binge drinking. She wont get out of bed because she fell down the stairs and is ‘afraid to fall again.’ I leave for college in three weeks. I cannot tell you how much this advice means to me. Thank you:)My thoughts are with all those who know what it is like to watch someone destroy their lives and who know the feeling of helplessness that goes with that sight.

  • Samantha

    Is there a way that I can talk to you directly? I have a long distance relationship with an alcoholic, and he has been in and out of jail because of it. He is in California, and I think if I could talk to you about the whole situation, and get your advice it would help me in how to deal with the whole situation.

  • kelly

    My 20yr old daughter is an addict (alcholic and drugs)
    I’m alreay so tired, I want to leave my husband (who drinks too much) and run away and leave them together.
    I love them, but I hate them too. I feel terrible for saying that but it’s true. I’m tired and want to run away.

  • Lola

    I am on facebook if you want to message me. And, I know exactly what it feels like to love and hate someone simultaneously. It is a terribly confusing and frustrating emotion.

  • Linda

    My son is a 25-year old recovering heroin addict. He was clean for all of 2009, and relapsed in March of this year, and has been clean ever since. He has been in 30-day inpatient programs, most recently released in April. He is no longer attending meetings or phoning his sponsor. His girfriend had a baby a month ago, and he says he just doesn’t have time to attend meetings after working all day and being with the baby at night.

    He seems to be on edge lately, and while I try to encourage him to attend meetings and call his sponsor, my messages come across as nagging. I’m afraid the stress will send him down that slippery slope. Any advice?

  • Lola

    Linda, tell your son that you don’t want to control him. Re-affirm your concern is coming from the heart. Allow him to make the mistakes, he’s adjusting to life w/out drugs and w/being a father.

    Make sure you also let him know that he “can” indeed make meetings. Your son can speak to his employer and say he needs to leave for “said meetings”.

    Good luck!

  • Teddy

    My girlfriend of 6 years has a problem with pills. She gets off of them for a while then takes them again for anywhere from a few days to weeks depending on when she realizes that I know she is doing them again. I have talked, yelled even told her that if she does them again we are threw. We have a daughter together and she has 2 older kids from a previous marriage. I do not end things with her because I love the girls and want them to grow up with some sense of normality. I get so tired of going threw the same thing over and over again and she never admits she has a problem. We have been through quite a bit of situations from things she has done while on them. The last 2 years she stays off of them for 6 months then seeks them out from whomever she can. She hides them so she can have them when she wants. I used to be able to find them and throw them away but now she hides them well and I can not locate them. I have looked for meetings for myself to deal with this but the only thing offered in my area is for alcoholics. When do you say enough is enough?

  • JAMIL

    JUST READING THIS VERY INFORMATIVE SITE…I REALLY NEED THIS,INFORMATION. WELL MY EX-LOVER WHOM I STILL LOVE IS A ADDICT..I’M JUST BROKEN THAT I CAN’T HELP HIM READING THIS INFO.ASSURES ME I NEED HELP MY-SELF,TO LEARN TO DEAL WITH THIS. SO MUCH PAIN,,I MUST GET TO THOSE MEETINGS FOR NON-ADDICTS. I’M JUST HURTING VERY BAD WITH ALL THE PAIN OF DEALING WITH THIS! THANK-YOU FOR THIS SITE!

  • James

    hi, i have been reading your comments for nearly a month now. found it very interesting and helpfull because i have a son who is also using. it seems my son is not ready to stop using. he has a wife who is pregnant and they are staying with my family. we are planning to ask him to move out with his wife, but we are worried she will be expecting next month, most probably.

  • Frustrated

    My boyfriend of 12 years has a drinking problem. We have lived together for 8 years and have a 7 year old daughter. We are currently living together. The biggest part of our relationship came to a head this past April. I told him he can’t use my house as a flop house anymore. His name is also on the mortgage which he reminds of very often. Since April he got worse. The past 5 months have been hell. I lost 40lbs which I could have used anyway but it was because i have no appetite and not much enjoyment in life. I am just existing. He told me he was done with me and I told him to move out over and over.. He said my bipolar disorder is what caused everything and makes him drink.This past month after 2 years we started a sexual relationship, and now I hope it means more. We hadn’t been together in 2 years. I’m getting bad vibes all around. He still has his disappearing acts thats hes missing for days and he tells me he was just with friends. I am in such pain I would rather my toe nails ripped off than this. I’m so addicted to him I don’t know how to let go and worse he is free to be here because of his name being on the mortgage. He’s about to go to jail for a dui and the fines are gonna kill us financially.I found an alanon meeting to go ot but I am scared. Mentally exhaused and my daughter is being affected in some ways becasue it’s hard for me to focus on anything.

  • Patrick

    @ Frustrated – go to the Al-anon meeting. Share honestly with them. That is your best course of action.

  • eyesofblue

    I had met this great guy over a year ago. I found out shortly after we met that he was an addict by his own admission in being honest and upfront. He played with my emotions continually by one month we were a couple and the next month he would tell me he didn’t have those kind of feelings for me, only feelings of a good friend. This happened more than once. Then the last time he came to me and said he had really thought long and hard about things, he said he was certain he wanted me more than a friend. Throughout our relationship he was in and out of jail on old warrants, he wrote all of the time. Telling me how much he loved me. While he was in jail he found out he could get into inpatient rehab. Which is 45 minutes away and also where his kids live. While visiting him in jail he told me of this. He said he wanted to be closer to his kids so when he gets out of rehab he is staying in that city and not coming back to live with me. Of course I was sad, but happy that he has this awesome opportunity to get well and get to know his kids all over again. Just like that there was no more us. He is now in rehab and doing well. I let him make the initial contact with me. He wrote a very nice letter and I wrote him back. Another letter he sent was good. Then in my last letter to him I asked if he needed stamps so that he could continue to write. He said yes. I sent another letter and the stamps. The last letter I received from him was a shock. He was upset because I had sent his kids a gift card to get some things for school. I don’t see them much so I sent them a card to let them know we are thinking of them. Anyway he wrote “QUIT giving my kids stuff, etc.”. He even sent back the stamps I had sent to him, saying he cannot accept anything from me anymore. We have over the past year been each others best friend. He wanted that. I am over any romantic ideas. Yet he thinks I am thinking we are still a couple and that I am trying to hold onto him. All I have offered is my continued support and friendship. How do I take all he said? I know he is going through a lot and his emotions are strong. He is pushing me away and I don’t understand why. Any insight would be helpful. I have only wanted the best for him. I don’t understand why when he needs friends the most he is pushing them away. How do I leave things?I want him to know I only care to be friends. Should I wait and seeif he writes again? Or write to him? He wrote that he felt smothered. I don’t understand why. I have let him iniate everything. Staying back and giving him the time he needs to focus on himself. Thanks

  • Margo

    I need some help on how to start, our daughter is bringing us our 19 year old grandson tomorrow. He is a drug addic and has tried to kill himself. He was sent to a mental hospital yesterday and today hay told her to come and get him and put him in drug rehab. she is a single mother with four children and does not have the $10,000.00 tom pay up front. So instead of keeping him in a mental hospital they agreed to release him to us in a nit her state. our grandson asked if he could co e to us to get clean because we live in the country and he coulees have his dog here. Do you fill he is sin seer about wanting to get clean? My biggest concern is what kind of boundaries do I set for him? He is very lazy never held a job for more Than a week. I fill he should be made to get up every morning when we do, clean his room make his bed and help me around the house while his grandfather goes to work. I feel he should hern his up keep while he is here.Not lay up in bed all day, I will not have that. When he’s ready then I’m willing to Take him to AA meetings and stay with him.
    I want him to go to church, there is a youth minister in town who was a drug a ddic himself and is not afraid to talk about it to the youth at church. My grandson was headed to a career in pro baseball when he starts making bad chouches. I want to help him get back on the right road of life.
    Thank you
    Loveing Grandma

  • lost in louisiana

    hello i have a 24 yr doughter..and i just found
    her pipe 2 hrs ago..its ether mith..or cack
    and i have tred to help her..now going on for 6 yrs
    iam tred of being lied to. all the BS
    and iam her dad..it just kills my insides
    that she do something like that to me..over and over
    dis it end..and when…i got alot out of the post
    thank yll..at least iam not olone..may god bliss is all
    in thes times of trbl..;o(

  • Kiem

    I have a question and was hoping for some advice. My husband is in rehab and he’s doing good according to him and the counselors and everything. Something I recently realized is that we have bad communication. If there is ever a problem he can blame it on drugs and alcohol. Now that he’s about to be out of rehab how do I get my point across without pissing him off to where he will use again. In the past he he would always use when he was mad or we got in an argument. Today we got in an argument but I just tried to let it go because he wouldn’t because I didn’t want to upset him. I feel like no matter what now I will always have to give in so he won’t go back to his old ways. Today was really the first time I realized that our relationship still might not work even after he’s sober. The drugs may be gone but the selfish behavior is still there. Any advice? email me at kiemgoldsberry@hotmail.com please. I don’t know what to do anymore to try to make this work.

  • Patrick

    @ Kiern – I do not think that you should have to “walk on eggshells” for the rest of your life with this man. That is not fair to you. If you have to do that in order to keep him clean and sober, then it ain’t gonna last anyway. You can ask other people in Al-Anon or in Recovery if that is true and they will confirm that it is definitely true.

    With that being said, I do think you should give a bit of a grace period, a cooling down time, and enough space for him to find his path in recovery. But you should definitely set boundaries with this and make it clear that you are not going to tiptoe around his ego 24/7 just so that he does not fly off the handle.

    The tricky part of this is that there is a fine line between knowing what is truly reasonable and what is not. Every case is different, so go to Al-anon meetings to get specific advice!!!!!

  • malisa

    I need help with my husband.His always on taking drugs every two hours an im scared every day.

  • Nina

    My son (21 year) is clean 30 days now with 2 relapse. He is in relationship with girl, she is addicted as well and she is clean 45 days now. This relationship is very bad. They are fighting all the time. He relapse because they broke. Now they are together again. I don’t know what to do. Please give me advice.

  • Sanity

    Oh please help me, my wonderful boyfriend has been sober for 3 months. He has worked really hard at it going to meetings etc and I am really proud of him. Tonight he asked me to meet him at a local bar for dinner. We have been in a bar a few times and he has drank non alcahol beer. Tonight when I met him he had a real beer, I was so disappointed and sad for him I walked away told him he had just blown everything with us etc. Now I feel I should have been more supportive but I couldn’t sit there and watch him drink I just couldn’t. Have I done the wrong thing, I feel like I don’t even want to talk to him right now

  • Patrick

    @ Sanity – drinking non alcoholic beer, in a bar? That is insane for a recovering alcoholic. Actually, a more accurate term for it is “denial.” The person is not done drinking yet.

    Hard to be supportive when he is screwing up like that. I am sure he will sit there and take whatever support you care to dish out, because he has his beer. Not good. I would follow your instinct. Put some distance there, some space.

    Good luck.

  • Sanity

    Thank you so much for your reply Patrick. He is gone into his hidey hole now and hasn’t contacted me. I refuse to live like this again. I am not allowing drink to control my life. I won’t contact him even though I am worried sick about him. You are right the NA beer is a big mistake I didn’t like it but I am not his Mother I won’t tell him what to do. I think even if he rang now I wouldn’t be able to tak to him I am so hurt. I think what hurts most is that he let me go to the bar to find him didn’t give me any warning (he probably knew I would try to talk him out of it).

    Thank you again Patrick

  • judy

    good site…good comments. our situation is that in June, our daughter and boyfriend’s (they have a 1 year old together who was also in the apartment) apartment was raided. They found oxys, syringes, pot, plus other stuff. My daughter was using some- smoking, and her boyfriend Jeff was using oxys intravenously. They took him to jail, and she came with Sally, her daughter, to live here with my husband and i from that day until now. Jeff has been in and out of jail, is out now. Has lost his apartment, his car, his job… and is living with us for the time being. We have had some good talks, but I feel that he is horribly depressed. He is UAed once a week, and is in the midst of the court thing, waiting for sentencing. My daughter, of course, loves him and tho she says she will not put up with him using- and as long as he is clean, he can be with her, I doubt her strength. My issue is this… he needs treatment, this I know. But that won’t happen until his court stuff is done- and some days he is good, but some days he is horrible…he is in my house, and i want to be supportive, but not co-dependent or manipulated. He is not usually angry or like that, just depressed, and wants to sleep all the time. I am unsure how to offer help. I have set the boundary of there can NEVER be any drugs here of any kind. Not a difficult one to set, but I feel like I should set other boundaries too, and am unsure what they should be. He is respectful of us, helps with meals and such, works with my husband some, but some days just appears lost. I don’t think he is using, but can’t say I would recognize it. My daughter would, but not sure if she would be able to confront it. Her use ended the day she left the apartment in June- this scared her. She was charged with maintaining a residence where drugs are used, which has led to interviews with Child Social SErvices- rightly so. I don’t think she will ever use again–

    So my question is what kind of boundaries do we need to set for him being here, besides the obvious (no drugs)?

    thank you!
    judy

  • Lauren L

    Thanks, for the article. I am just wondering what I can do to help my roommate and best friend, who is struggling with a cocaine addiction. She and I both have very addictive personalities, we went through eating disorder treatment together and thats where we met. Less then a month ago she tried cocaine for the first time, to escape, because she is going through a tough break-up. She instantly loved it and used it compulsively. She bought over $200 worth and brought it home. A few nights later she overdosed and went to the hospital. She threw away the coke and was never going to use it again. One week later she bought more coke and binged all night and once again bought a large amount. She once again overdosed and flushed the coke, vowing never to use again. Four days later, she was planning on leaving to the guys house who sell her the drug, thats when I intervened, because I was scared for her life. I think it really helped her, but now I want to know what I can do to help her when she is not doing well and her addiction is talking to her. How do I comfort her when she is struggling?

    Thank you
    Lauren.

  • Patrick

    @ Lauren – I would urge her to get support in the form of NA meetings or even inpatient rehab.

    In my opinion those are the 2 best options for someone who is in her situation. You might also consider urging her to see a therapist or a counselor.

    Outside of that, it is just you trying to give her support yourself, and it sounds like that will only work so well (which is to say, it is not really working maybe?). Nothing against you as a support system but it sounds to me like she needs more help than you can provide. Is that the case do you think?

  • Elsa

    I am looking for advice, my brother has been dealing with his wife’s drinking problem for the past year, she started drinking over ten years ago and stopped once she fell pregnant with her second child, she had been sober for over ten years and due to severe depression due to her being abused as a child she started drinking again, my brother has been hiding it from all of us and now he is willing to get support but unsure as to how he will not contact al-non and is worried about me having the kids permanently in case it pushes her over the edge i believe she needs to see repercussions to her actions and the kids are suffering so much. What can we do to help per she is not going to aa, doctors appointments…….

  • Mona

    I have a 22 year old daughter who has been dealing with substance abuse for about five years. She has a five year old daughter that we adopted last year. She was clean and sober for 27 days after being released from the psychiatric hospital and diagnosed as manic depressive. For 27 days I saw the person she truly is, without drugs or alcohol to change her. Then in one minute it all changed. One of her using friends came over, they left together got high and ended up in jail on charges of possession of drug paraphenalia and a controlled substance. She has been in jail since Tuesday and that’s about all I can stand. I want to bail her out tomorrow. She has a court date of the 10th, I have never bailed her out of jail and this is the third time she has been locked up. The other two times for misdemeanor soliciting but now a felony. I want more than anything for my child to have a life. I know she is making decisions, like to get in the car with that person, but I feel like she is not well mentally so why should I expect her to make logical decisions. She has an appointment on Wednesday with Mental Heallth and I feel like that will help her more than sitting in jail. At least she can get her medications. I may be enabling but don’t I have to have a bottom like the addict does or is it possible to raise the “bottom”. Finally, rehab is expensive, she has no insurance, how do people do it and after all the ups and downs, pain and drama, the list of supporters gets shorter. Your thoughts.

  • Patrick

    @ Mona – I would call around to local rehabs and see what type of funding she qualifies for.

    Rehab is expensive but many people can get funded for it if they do not have any other way to pay for it.

    You gotta make the calls, ask questions, be polite of course! Someone will help you eventually. It differs by state and by region so I cannot give details here. But the basics are the same: do the footwork and try to find help with funding. Be open to different solutions, etc.

  • Monique

    In need of guidance:

    I have a sister who is 26 years old. Since 12 she has been addicted to drugs (coke, pills, whatever she can get her hands on) and alcohol. It has gotten progressively worse, to the point where she recently has stabbed someone while intoxicated. (This person was okay, thankfully). She’s had multiple DUIs, has many run-ins with the police, tends to use physical abuse (and mental) on others to get her way, etc.
    She does not come to terms with her actions, brushing incidents like this off as a “bad night”.
    She is heading down a horrible path and as much as I want to help, I do not want to enable her to do things.
    She is tearing apart our family, and I know her actions will lead her to jail or possibly extreme physical harm to herself (or others).
    I am fully prepared to stop condoning to this type of behavior and will do whatever it takes to protect myself and my family, but my family feels as though they’re abandoning her if we don’t rescue her from every incident.
    Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

  • Patrick

    @ Monique – Well I think you need to realize that in some situations you cannot rescue her, because to do so will just enable further addiction. She needs to suffer some consequences that she brings on herself, without the family softening things up for her. This is the only way she will change.

    If the family continues to rescue her and try to help her out of trouble, she will never get the pain and the desperation necessarily to motivate herself to quit.

  • luella harris

    22 yr old son is addicted too pills and cocaine-crack recently he asked me for money,and from what ive researched and learned is not too help them. well when i refused to help him he robbed the drug dealer ,and now theres a hit out on him .very scared and confused mom ???

  • April

    My husband is addicted to pills and has been for 3 years. I finally caught him after so many lies and confronted him, he admitted he’s addicted and he said he’s trying to wean himself off the pills, main problem is the withdrawl symptoms and the urge to take them. I lost all of my trust in him, I’m disapointed, its such an emotional roller coster, and i don’t know how deal with this. We talk and he has told me everything but I feel like I can’t live with an addict for the rest of my life, but i also feel like I can’t leave him now since he needs my support. Any advice would be very helpful. Thank you.

  • Natalie

    I recently fell in love with a man who is 6yrs younger than me. We atlked about what we life and it seemed a perfect match. He is smart, funny, loveable, and sincere. The only thing is that ooone-and-a half months ago, he called me and told me I should have run away from him when I first met him because he had a drinking problem that he feared would make him turn out like his Father. It seems his father is what you call a “Functioning Alcoholic”. He was almost crying. In dealing with him thus far, I picked up that he was a perfectionst in terms of how he should be. (I assumed that because of the way he spoke of his family, that he was the underachiever). Now,what had me going was the fact that he admitted to me that he lost his job because he didn’t go in one day due to drinking. He has a very dangerous, high-stress job, that pays well but he hates. He says his father pulls no punches and gives it to him straight but I don’t know if his anxiety stems from childhood trauma, verbal abuse, or the alcoholisim. I am sure he is an alchollic now, because of the confessions and I met a family member who cooborated his story. I was in shock because I had never dealt with anything like this in my life. I felt so bad for him. He told me he went to AA twice and it didn’t stick. He sounded so lost. I talked him down and he asked me to come see him. I went and we spent two days together where he had only two glasses of wine at dinner(I didn’t feel it was my place to tell an adult what to do) 2 nights in a row. We never got to speak about his problem because I didn’t feel correct in bringing it up we only saw each other when he got home from work for a couple of hours). When we finally touched on it again, we were interupted by his cousin coming over to visit. That’s when I got alot of background info. She said he had improved but I guess she didn’t realize he was back to his old ways. Her father diesd of Cirrosis of the Liver. Alcoholisim seems to run in the family. After that day I didn’t hear from him for two weeks. I asked his cousin if she’d heard from him(by now we’d become friends) and she said yes, didn’t I? After two weeks I begged her to tell me what was going on. She told me that the holidays were coming up and that he didn’t want there to be a problem with his family because I was black. Then I confronted him and he told me he got cold feet, and that he wanted to to start over. Then his cousin told me that he called her and wanted her to come over to his house and hang out but she said no, because she was angry with him over his mistreatment of me…and the fact that he was drunk! She said he wanted to speak to me. I haven’t heard from him. She said he had deep feelinfs for me, and told her that he confessed his issues to me, and he thinks I want to save him. I want to help but save is a big word. I needed to understand and educate myself about this. she said he doesn’t want to be this way and he isn’t a mean or violent drunk which does not make it any les serious. She said he was wasting away last year and now it seems as if he is isolating himself from his family again. I thik everyone is sweeping this under the rug and I am very worried about him. He admitted al of this but I fear he thinks he can’t be helped. He says once he tastes the alcohol he just wants more and more and he can’t stop drinking. He doesn’t sleep well, and has high-Anxiety! I think he doesn’t want to drag me down with him so to speak but I already care. I only hope he’ll reach out to me again. His cousin says he thinks I have abone to pick with him but I have had time to detach from the situatin.I hate that he is going through this. She says it’s been seven years already….

  • worried mom

    My beautiful 26 year old daughter is abusing drugs and I am at my wit’s end. She’s had substance abuse issues for years off and on, mostly with pot and alcohol. But this year it’s become so much worse. She’s away at school and every time I speak to her she slurs her words and cannot speak a complete sentence. This is a bright girl. She says she’s just taking Tylenol PM every day to “take the edge off” of her anxiety. But when I visit she just isn’t the same girl. She doesn’t want to discuss anything, she gets angry if I bring up any subject not OK’ed by her and again I cannot understand anything she says because her words are so slurred. It is as if she is living in slow motion. I am so afraid she is going to kill someone driving or kill herself. She seems to be careening down this slope and I don’t know what to do. So far her grades are good but I can’t understand how she can keep this up and still do well in school. I am two hours away and constantly feel like driving to her home and kidnapping her and keeping her under lock and key until she comes to her senses. I am going to two Al Anon parent’s meetings a week but this detachment thing still feels wrong to me. I keep thinking that if I can stop her now she won’t end up dead or in jail or twenty years as an addict. Help.

  • Patrick

    @ Worried mom – if anxiety is driving her alcoholism then I would advise inpatient detox. They can introduce her to anxiety medications that are not addictive. Plus, they can get her safely detoxed from the alcohol.

    If she is not willing to do that then I would urge her to stop using Tylenol PM to medicate her anxiety. Some people have used Benadryl off label to try and medicate their anxiety but there is abuse potential there as well. Maybe you live in a state where you can commit people for substance abuse? Might check into that if you think she is seriously going to hurt herself or others…

  • Tina

    I am stuggling and I need help. 2 days ago my step sister told me she, her boyfriend, my brother and his girlfriend are all doing heroin. my step sister did alot of X for the last couple years and recently went to rehab for oxycotin. My brother as well recently stuggled with an oxycotin addiction and went to rehab about a year ago. he has also stuggled with a meth addication for 10 years and has finally been clean from meth for the last 2 years after being released from prison. my sister seems to think she can help herself, her boyfriend my brother and his girlfriend stop but it doesn’t sound possible. She asked me not to tell our parents, she says shes handling it but what i have experienced in the past I know its not that easy. She alone can not help all of them. 4 people in my family have an addiction to herion and I know my step sister and her boyfriend are using cocaine too. My step sisters mother died from a heroin overdose about 5 years ago and I am so afriad she is going to go down the same path. How should I approach this situation. I am so scared for my family. I am afraid to tell our parents because I know its going to depress them. They have been stuggling with their own financial issues and this is going to be really hard on them. I also dont want my family to hate me for telling on them. How can I face this issue with them? please help me? I am scared and I dont know what to do.

  • http://spiritualriver.com Another worried mom

    I have 26 year old daughter that is an alcoholic. She went through detox 8/1/2010 and then went to a 6 week intensive outpatient therapy group. She had drank so much that she was near death when her boyfriend found her and took her to the hospital this summer. She has relapsed twice since then. Tonight was the second time. She says she wants to get better nad likes the way she feels when she is sober. But something is there that makes her drink again.As a parent I want to help, but realize she has to be the one to make the changes and seek additional help. I don’t know what to do. Am I supposed to step back and let her find a way to help herself? She knows the consequences of her drinking. She will most likely lose her job and her boyfriend. He has been so supportive of her through everything, but is very frustrated as we all are. She also lives 600 miles away. I can’t leave work and go to her whenever she relapses. I feel so helpless and at times it all seems so hopeless. My husband and I went to one al-anon meeting. It was so depressing that I’m not sure I want to go back. They made it sound like chances of recovery are slim and we should learn to live with it and move on. I’m scared we will get a call some night saying she drank so much she died.

  • Heather

    Until I read everyones posting I truly felt alone, my soon to be husband has a problem with Pain pills and other pills as well, in away I have enabled him because I am always cleaning up after him and making sure that he stays safe, and all I get is put down and draged down, I have felt so guilty and as if this were something I caused for so long that I started becoming numb,and I’m now at the point where I need help because I dont know how much more emonital abuse I can take. He has a admitted over and over again that he knows he has a problem and will make an effort to do something about it but never completely follows through. I have never been one to give up on anyone that I love or care about, I just feel so lost and dont know what more I can do other then, sit back and let him make a fool out of himself. He tries and tried to put me away when he is a complete mess on the pills and lies like its going out of style, but when he isnt taking them and he is himself he regrets everything he said and did.. I dont know what is true and what is not true anymore.

  • Marie

    Very helpful article. Of the five steps you listed, I think #2 often takes a back seat by parents of a child struggling with a drug addiction. I found that it’s so important to take care of myself — when I didn’t, I couldn’t help my son. I found this parenting resource very helpful too, Time To Get Help http://timetogethelp.drugfree.org It’s an online community for parents of a child with a drug addiction. Thanks so much for this article!

  • Sandi

    I am so glad that I came upon this website. For so long I thought I was the only parent having problems with a grown child. Everything I have read has opened my eyes to so much. I have a beautiful daughter who understands she has a problem with prescription medication; however, she doesn’t feel the need to get help. She wants to take on this monster by herself, on her own terms. Don’t get me wrong. I am so happy she has admitted to her problem, but because of all the ups and downs I have experienced with her over several years, I can’t help wandering is this just the con artist coming out. I really feel guilty even thinking like this. In my mind, I want her to ask for help and get the appropriate care that she needs.

  • paula

    My husband hit rock bottom about 5 months ago . And then all a sudden he is now doing drugs again. I dont know what to do,. I ve explained that its his habbit or me and he is trying to negotiate. Im soo torn do I throw away my 8 year marrage with 3 kids, for this???I feel unfair and mean.Im watching every cent and if I find it again I will tell him he has to leave..

  • Tara

    My 20 year old son decided he needed help for opiate addiction 3 weeks ago. Took him to a detox center he was there 5 days, have since been trying to get him into inpatient rehab. The insurance company is making this impossible now he is ready to give up. I don’t know what to do, he was so willing and ready for the help, no one else seems to care

  • Aaliyah

    Hey i read all the comments on this site and they sound very helpful but i have my own problems with a guy that im seeing and his parents do drugs too and he finally noticed he has been addicted for a while and needs help. he needed to tell someone but he didnt know who to tell because he was afraid people would think badly and judge but im a type of person that i will never judge a person at alll and i told him thaat. he treatd me like crap and would be sketchy for a while before he ended up finally being brave enough to come clean that he has an addiction. i dont do any drugs at al and im against it. he needed to find a girl like me to help him out quit and come clean.. so atleast he knows he needs help but i dont know how to help him because he said he needs me with him so i can be his drug and he doesnt need to think about the other drugs. but what am i supposed to do to help him with that? i really care alot for him and would never give up on him

  • http://spiritualriver.com Roberta

    My 46-year-old son will be coming out of a rehab center the end of next week. He has been sober for 40 days. The center where he is staying is very structured and he says he is learning a lot, but still has a long way to go. Last week when we went to visit, he seemed glib about going to AA every day. I’m hoping before he comes home he’ll see that it really needs to be part of his life. My daughter and I just started going to Al-Anon meetings. I also plan to check out other locations to see how those groups are. My son quit his job in May and one of my concerns is how long do I wait until I say – it’s time for you to get a job and contribute to the household to pay your expenses. He has a place to stay and food to eat, but I do intend to cut off his “perks” if he doesn’t get a job.

  • Kylie

    Why do we allow the ones we love to destroy us also? I thought I was a strong woman, I could conquer all things. I am failing miserably at helping the man I love with his addiction. I want to believe there is help, but as I read and learn I begin to wonder how much of my life must I sacrifice for him? It seems so much easier for me to walk away from him, but I begin to fear that he will spiral out of control and I won’t be there to pull him back to safety. I am a rock, a military officer, a social worker with a Master degree, but I am beginning to questions everything. It seems that those who love an addict become victims. How can I love someone and help them at the same time? It seems almost impossible.

  • Lane

    I am trying to read your website information and the comments from your readers, while I am sobbing. My son is 29 and addicted to alochol and weed. I have tried to be understanding, supporting and even harsh at tmes. I realize I have gone about this all wrong. I have lost myself during the process. Today is a new beginning for me because of this website. I am committing myself to YOU today. I need help in how to get him to be responsible to admit his problems. I will keep you informed!!!! My changing how I react to him is forever changed as of now. Bless you all!

  • Desperate wife

    I am desperate for help.My husband is an alcoholic and went through detox in April. Then rehab for about 70 days. Almost immediately after returning home he began to drink again. He takes xanex, lexepro, and most recently Campral. In August he got a DUI and I told him he had to leave our house till he stopped drinking (we have two young children). He went to his families house and stayed sober about 3 weeks. Said he needed to be closer to children and me so he moves in with a friend and starts to drink again. That’s when doctors added Campral. He went back to Family house Oct. 10th and was sober and doing very well. (btw the family house is about 2 hrs away from our home. Came home a week ago for a short visit and decided to look for an apartment nearby to be closer to kids and look for a job. I found hidden alcohol bottles in house two days after he was here but suspected the day before that. He went to apartment and now is drinking and hanging out at bars and with people he has just met. I am scared he will kill himself because the judgement when alcohol and pills are combined is so terrible. He wont listen to reason when we say he needs to go back to parents house (which is the only place he has been sober)He was irritated with me for not letting him spend time with kids this weekend but I didnt because I knew he was drinking and I told him this. I feel out of options. Please help.

  • Elle

    I have a new friend that I have known for several years who has been sober for almost 4 yrs. And I really want to be part of her life. Is this wrong of me? We started talking really good and I was giving her attention and she was giving me attention and then we had a discussion and decided to just be friends. And well, I feel selfish in saying this but I can’t just stop the feelings I had for her. In my eyes, I see this person as someone strong who sets goals and sticks with them. She has been sober which Im learning is really a card situation for her because we went out last night and she was having cravings and I hated that for her!! What can I do, or what should I do?

  • Alina S

    My now ex-boyfriend has been abusing drugs and alcohol on and off for the past year and a half till the present. He turned 21 in February and the alcohol usage skyrocketed. The drugs however have been used only a few times since. He lives with his parents and his grandmother and after having his car taken away by his parents for fear of receiving a DUI or getting in an accident, he has been using a bike to get from place to place. Probably to meet up with some of his low-life “friends” that only want to steer him even further away from a sober life. His parents also have a tracking system set up through the phone company to track him which usually results in him just turning off his phone which keeps him in a “stealth” mode. In addition, he isn’t allowed to have any cash on him because any amount of money will be used for alcohol.
    The alcohol usage wouldn’t be so bad however if he understood that he is A) a verbally abusive and violent person when under the influence and B) binge drinks sometimes to the point that he is passed out and then wakes up in a rage. The police have been involved numerous times but he hasn’t been arrested or put in jail for his actions. I broke up with him because I don’t want to enable him and because I want him to understand that I can’t be with him until his addiction is under control because I’m afraid that one day, after sneaking out of his parent’s house for what seems like the millionth time that he will be fired from his job, drop out from school, hurt himself or others, or end up in jail.

    He says he wants to be with me and that he understands that he cannot continue in the way he has. He also has admitted that he has a problem and has told me that he has been attending AA meetings at least once a week. Whether that is true or not is unknown though. He was doing well but then last night, he snuck out on his bike and did not come home till 2 am and has been sleeping for most of the day and I believe that he has relapsed.

    What actions can I take if I hope to one day have him be a part of my life as my boyfriend instead of as my alcoholic friend and what can his parents do?

  • Sky

    A couple of years ago i found the guy of my dreams until i discovered he had a drinking problem. We are engaged not so sure that the relationship will move any further. When we met if was magical and it was during a vacation trip that we did lotsa thing including drinking. I was on vacation so it did not seem like it was an issue until we moved in together. It took a couple of months til i figured it out. Along with drinking came a few other things: like lies, sneaking around, all sorts of things. We have talked about the drinking it has gotten a little been but not good enough. If he goes two or three days it’s good yay!! But then goes out on a binge to make up for lost time. I don’t know quite what to do and as far as my future goes i’m not looking forward to it. It deeply hurts me and my heart has been broken so many times…….help any advise??? i’d be truly thankful and open to listen.

  • Shawn

    ATTN: SKY

    Does he use any type of violence against you? If so leave him at once and never think to help him. First you have to help yourself and your health is the first priority. If not (That I hope he doesn’t), It fully depends how much he depends on you.Does he love you?
    If so(Great), you can use it as a good force to help. It means that you have to make limitations and boundries for him on relation. Till he is drunken, no meeting, separation. Be tough if you love him and don’t worry, this is the only way to help.
    After separation he will think more seriously what separated him from his love. Then it will be the time for good approach.
    I have the experience of the challenge for helping my addict brother and know that being too compationate and kind will be against any kind of help. Your heart will be brocken again and again. No trust, be strong, determined and tough and don’t worry.
    Be soft in using words though and let him know your love but make serious boundries and till he doesn’t give up, don’t come up with him.
    If he gives up, you will have a healthy lover that will make you happy. If not, a drunken man will never make a girl happy!

  • Jordan, Desperate Friend

    My friend started smoking weed about four years ago. He’s now about to turn 20 and his drug use has reached a severe extent. Fairly recently, he was smoking weed 10 times a day for months at a time. He also got into some harder drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, heroine, acid, etc. I don’t think he was addicted to any one of these individual drugs except weed. He is definitely psychologically dependent on weed. He is also depressed and insecure and has talked about suicide and borderline attempted it. His parents know the situation but are too overwhelmed to do much. He is still going to college 5 hours away from me. I think he needs to go to rehab. Kicking the drug habits is definitely the first step in his recovery. He’s my best friend, and it would kill me to see his name in the obituaries one of these days because of an overdose. (He often does hard drugs and drinks, putting himself at a serious risk of death.) Any advice or words of wisdom are much appreciated.

  • Joy

    Any suggestion on how to help my brother?? His girlfriend died of a accidental Methadone OD 9 weeks leaving him with a 9 week old baby. My brother is a recovering addict. THey have lived with me since time of death. I’ve provided food and housing for both. The baby has just started received Social Security benefits. I’m scared to tell my brother the amount for fear of him wanting to control the money – i.e. spending on himself. NOW I think my brother is using again. Over the last 7 days he has gone AWOL 4 nights. Always has a reason…but assumes I will care for the baby. WHich of course I will. I will do anything for this baby, but my brother is tearing my family apart. How do I get him to set a plan or to just check out of being the parent. Any insight would be helpful.

  • http://baclofen4alcoholism.com just me

    If you are in the UK you could seek a special guardianship order, which will give you parental rights.
    Be very wary of Social Services and their intervention especially with a young baby. (if i hadn’t taken out an SGO they would have taken my grandson into care, and were going to place him on an adoption register as he was so young)Under the circumstances you can also have monies made payable to you: child benefit, tax credits etc: into your bank account to ensure that the money goes on the baby and not your brothers habit.
    If you work you can also claim for child care costs via tax credits, and you may be entitled to working tax credit too?
    Good luck and bless you for being there for your niece/nephew.

  • kc

    Hi everyone

    I met a guy I am completely crazy about. We don’t know each other well – yet. But he did tell me he’s had some serious issued with alcohol dependence since he got out of the service. I believe there’s some PTSD there, too; he’s being treated for depression at the VA.

    My gut says run away, this is a high potential for trouble and heartache.

    My heart says stay and support him – he’s also potentially an amazing partner.

    How do I decide?

    He’s currently with his family and I’m not sure about the situation. (I haven’t met them yet.) He did express that he hopes I’ll stick around while he gets his act together. Am I setting myself up?

    Help?!

    kc

  • Rosa

    Hi,
    I have been with my bf almost 2 yrs I found out a 6 months in he was
    In rehab for alcohol and drug use ( pills). The only reason he told me is because I came home and basically found him slobbering all over himself and he could barley walk, so he woke up hours later he told me everything. Since then he swears he hasn’t done it since and I don’t believe him. I can tell in his attitude sometimes changes and the way he sleeps and he’s so lazy, his eyes get red and he shakes sometimes. If I bring up I want him to get drug tested he agrees to it but a half hour later he gets very upset that I asked for one . What should I do about this I love him and I won’t bail on him I want to help him anyway that I can but I don’t want him to be scared to talk to me about it. I have never done drugs so I don’t know what it’s like to be an addict. My father was an addict and still is. What should I do?

  • Fiona

    Hi Patrick,
    I’ve been reading this blog now for the past two days and I want to thank you for being there for so many desperate families and those who are suffering from these terrible addictions.

    My story is like so many others on here. My husband Chris, is addicted to crack and alcohol and has bipolar.

    In June of this year, his aunt (who was like a second mother to him) died suddenly at 60. Though that has been very stressful for him (and me), the biggest thing is that she left him a significant amount of money. He ended up blowing through most of it within 2-3 months, drinking and smoking pot. He became withdrawn, beligerent and stopped working (he’s in construction).

    Every few weeks since her death, he’s told me he doesn’t want to be married and then packs his things and leaves. He had been staying at her place but has sold all of her electronics etc., to feed his habit and almost turned the apt. into a crack den. ;( Since September he’s been in treatment twice. Once for a month and then again just for 13 days where he left yesterday because he was angry that he wasn’t allowed to go home for Christmas (we want him safe and sound in treatment) and he’s turned it around to feel rejected. He threw a tantrum at the recovery house and just walked out. He ended up spending the night at a homeless shelter because I told the recovery place not to give him his truck keys (I have half ownership of it). I thought that if we took away his transportation, he’d think twice about leaving… not.

    He left anyway. The next morning, I took the bus to the recovery house and met him there. Long story short, he ended up getting the truck (he now wants me to sign it over to him which I’m NOT going to do because I know he’ll sell it) $350 and his iphone. He then dropped me off at our place and left saying he was going to go to a meeting.

    I had given him a letter that his aunt had written him early last year that he never read. He had stolen from her in the past and there was great hurt caused there. However, she was his biggest supporter (and enabler) and expressed in this letter of the people in her life whom she forgave and told him she forgave him too… and that he needed to forgive himself.

    It seemed it was too much for him but he took the letter and drove off – I haven’t heard from him since as he won’t answer his phone or text messages.

    From being in this hellish vortex with him for almost 3 years, I have finally realized that I have NO control over him (I tend to control things) and what he does. I have ‘guilt’ because I’ve taken what money is left and put it in my personal account so he doesn’t have ANY access to the cash. He’s FURIOUS about this and says it’s ‘HIS’ money and that he’s going to go to a lawyer about it. I told him to go ahead.

    I’m not going out and spending it how I want to – I’m living off it to go to school (which we agreed upon before all this crap happened) and paying bills etc., but am not taking trips or going on wild spending sprees (which he was). Plain and simple, he wants all the money gone — spent so he doesn’t have to take responsibility for it and I just can’t allow that. It’s not much money anymore (around $40,000) but it’s enough to help US in our future.

    So I decided to go to Al-anon a few weeks back and I’m going to my 4th meeting this evening. In fact, I’m going to go to one every day if I can until I can get a handle on myself… being stronger in me and my decisions NOT to enable him any longer.

    I told him that he is not welcome at our place until he gets well. If he does come by, I will be calling the police (and request a special car to come by with a psych nurse – as he’s off his meds and says he doesn’t have bipolar anymore). He’s mad about this, but I really need my SAFE place until he’s better.

    Also… I HAVE to stop giving him money (as mentioned above). It’s eating away at me (the guilt) because it IS his inheritance, but I can’t let him piss away all the $ that his aunt worked so hard for. This money has set him off more than anything as he THINKS in his head that he’ll be able to access this (wear me down, threaten, manipulate whatever)… to continue his addictions. In fact, his mind races with the thoughts even in treatment (thus him leaving). Also, Christmas is a very hard time for so many people, and Chris is no exception. Since his early 20’s he’s relapsed almost every year around this time.

    He left the recovery house yesterday saying that he wants to get better on HIS terms…and no one elses. He said he knows he’s running (away from feelings that are coming up) but told me to back off and that he would NOT be dictated to anymore… that he won’t be ‘held hostage’ anymore and he just wants to be free.

    After he dropped me off, we talked once where he said he was going to a meeting and then as mentioned, I didn’t hear from him again. I’ll admit… I picked up my co-dependent behavior with a vengance and started calling him repeatedly (no answer) and checking his voicemail throughout the evening. I think I called about 30 times and left 10 text messages…. nothing.

    I found out the general vicinity where he was (through his voicemail at around 11pm a pizza delivery guy was trying to get him pizza and I called the dude to see what address Chris was at). The address I got is in the worst drug area in our city and I was so tempted to go there to check it out… and then I thought “What the hell am I going to do when I get there?” He’s not answering his phone or texts… how is me trying to control the situation going to help anything?! It dawned on me (and I do believe it was God and lack of sleep combined) that I have to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let Chris face his consequences. I’m afraid my husband is going to die because of this so I panic and ‘get involved’. But I think I may be hindering more than helping and that… (GOD forbid! :( ) his life does end because of HIS choices, I don’t have any power over that.

    I pray that Chris stops running away from these feelings that are surfacing which will help with the healing process. As for many addicts however, he has most likely turned to using again to quiet these inner turmoils he’s facing as he can’t seem to face them right now.

    For today, I am not going to call Chris to make sure he’s okay (alive…whatever). I HAVE to let go and focus on myself. I have been getting sick and started to do poorly in school. I’ve stopped seeing friends and stay in bed as long as I can… I don’t eat properly and don’t have any care for my appearance. This is NOT right… I am destroying myself by obsessing about my drug… my addicted husband.

    If/when Chris genuinely wants help (treatment), then I will be there for him. Anything else will be unacceptable and I cannot accept anything less. Otherwise, I too, will go down in the destructive path that he has chosen for himself.

  • cris

    i am a recovering drug addict and I’ve been clean for only 1 year and a half but am still struggling with the craving and the thoughts of smoking again, and my partner has a best friend who she grew up with and that smokes pot and is also an addict, I have no problem with that girl doing what she does, nor do I judge her, but all I asked for my partner is out of respect for me, for her not to smoke drugs in my partner’s presence cos I don’t want that around me or my partner, cos the fact that I know that this girl doses drugs bothers me and I will not have it in my life, especially after 10 years of doing drugs and i dont want it around my future wife whom I want to have children with, and she gets mad and thinks Im making her chose between me and her, which is not the case, i dont want it in our lives in any way what so ever.. is that too much to ask?

  • http://www.ibogaineclinic.com Fran Mann

    Has anyone heard of ibogaine treatment??? It makes sense to me as a natural detox method for these cravings you discuss. No matter what you do in your head or the emotional support you get, the body has to get rid of the automatic needs. The ibogaine makes sense to me as it seems to create an aversion?
    Anyone know about it?

  • Casey

    I have been reading all the comments on here this is all so wonderful:) I myself have not had the greatest life growing up with a lot of abuse and addiction then re living the same situation I had to grow up in. I feel like I have been fighting my entire life, at the same time struggling I dont want to live this way anymore I have completed rehab in the past and managed to stay clean for a few years I am now addicted again to pain meds:( I want nothing more then to live a clean and sober life. I just want to be happy.I want to break my families cycle. The problem I find I am having is to try and detox myself the withdrawl from this pain medication is the worst feeling I HAVE EVER FELT?? how do I get help again? I do not have a lot of supports and I also have children that depend on me?I do not have help to take care of them to go away? I am litterly on my knees begging I have never been more ready then NOW! any advise?

  • Tonya

    Patrick

    My son is 19 and is and addict. I would do anything to help him. I am insisting that he go to NA meetings.
    He also wants to move away to go to school. I am not sure if the timing is right, but his friends here are bad. He is seeing a dr. and is on subox. He also sees a counselor and is going to NA. But he has also used while seeking treatment. I struggle with how to help, and how much to confront him with. Theft stealing and lying seems to go with this addiction. He knows that in patient treatment is and option if he wants. Is there something else I can do?

  • Carla

    Patrick, thank you for starting this blog. I am reading and learning how to deal with my 24 year old son and his ongoing struggle. I came online in search of just this type of information. Your article has helped me see that I have lost sight of any boundaries that I previously had established. For the past several months I have been enabling and contributing to the problem by giving money and believing the lies. I told my son today that I will help him find treatment, but I will no longer give him any money. I know that in the coming weeks he is going to push me and attempt his emotional blackmail on me. But I am determined to stand firm on it, as I know that my enabling only keeps him from possibly seeking help.

    My worst fear (which I’m sure every parent shares) is that the drugs will take his life. The thought of that makes me want to let him move back home in order to protect him. I realize that is ridiculuous and it is my emotion talking. But I would rather live with the drug problem than let the drugs kill him. I don’t want to get a call telling me that he died under a bridge, which is a distinct possibility. I don’t think I could bear it. Can you give me some advice on how to deal with this fear.

  • Carla

    Advice to Casey, Try outpatient treatment, that way you won’t have to leave your kids. Perhaps Suboxone or Methadone, along with NA meetings. Don’t despair, there is hope.

  • Lonely

    I am leaving my fiance today. He both drinks too much and does too much crack. I myself am no angel, but I know when something is getting to be more than it should and I stop. He agreed to stop the drugs and slow down on the drinking, but lasted only one day. We’ve discussed “slowing down” time and time again, while he only keeps doing it more often…
    My stuff is packed and I’m waiting to move to a new place, with nothing, without him.

    Should I stay and keep hoping, or should I just call it a loss?
    Is leaving the wrong thing?

    I love him so much – but I don’t know if he loves me more than his drugs…

  • Carol Cabourn-Ford

    Hi Patrick

    My best friend has just admitted that he is doing quite a lot of cocaine on his own every day in his flat that he shares with his emotionally abusive boyfriend.

    They both do cocaine a lot and always have done…I have been seeing less and less of him and he’s been lying to my face on more than a few occasions as well as always being late and has also lost all his friends apart from me.

    He has admitted that he has a problem and has phoned a drug councellor – i have told him that he has to leave his boyfriend otherwise he’ll never be ok….

    Am i being too pushy? What is the best thing I can do? I love him but am scared I’m handling it the wrong way…..please help, am desperate. Thank you.

  • Jackie

    I have recently found out that my boyfriend of two years has relapsed. In his teens and early twenties he was using heroin..needles and all. When I first found out about his prior drug use it surprised me. I would have never thought that someone like him would do such things. The hardest part of this all is that i thought we were a team and I could trust him, but unfortunately i was manipulated into believing he was cured. I should have known better. Because of his relapse, finacially we are struggling tremendously. I am naive about drug addiction, although i have struggled with it in the past and it’s very hard for me to understand why he can’t stop. If I could why can’t he? I love him and I am not willing to give up on us. I want to be able to forgive him and help him. Is this something I will have to worry about and struggle with for the rest of our lives?

  • Ganesh

    Hi,
    Very like Carla, I too have a 24 year old son. I am in exactly the same position about the fear of the boy staying out by himself and getting deeper into the mess he is in with his addictions. I feel if i set the boundaries, no money, no mobile to call like-minded friends, no transport, he will be more home bound and within sight. he sleeps a whole lot, nearly the whole morning but i think this is a better way to stay off the streets and off any substance. Not a very healthy lifestyle but if we can keep him off any stuff for a few months, maybe he will forget his addictions.
    Am i being too naive? Its a bit rough denying a young man all his rights (according to what he says) but its the only way i can see it. He will not listen to us about being sent to rehab or even attending any A.Anon meetings, so thats a dead end.
    Would be most obliged for some help

  • chloe

    Hi Patrick,
    this is an old post, so I’m afraid you might not read or respond, but here’s my story..
    my best friend confessed to me last december that she’s got addicted to heroin. i guess she’s been doing it for over 6 months.till she started heroin, she’d been doing alot of kinds of drugs, but i didn’t touch the subject that much, because i used to do it together. (i quited all 4yrs ago due to my health problem and never think about doing it again, though.) she said she feels pathetic and regrets she’s ever started drugs, but still doesn’t want to quit. i feel so sad and am dying to help her, but don’t know what i can do, since we live so far away. she’s in Australia when i’m in Japan. do you think it’s possible to anyhow support her from that kinda distance? do you have any idea? i want to help her so bad…

  • http://healthmad.com/health/alcohol-abuse-the-not-so-glamorous-life/2/ Kim

    It is so difficult and puzzling, I recently wrote about just this:
    http://healthmad.com/health/alcohol-abuse-the-not-so-glamorous-life/2/

    Take care of your friend and yourself!

  • http://windows angle

    ive read some of these others situations and im going through some ruff times with my 23 and 25yrs old daughter im ready for a nervous break down i dont know what to do anymore theyre on heroin they stolen from me verbally abused be and its breaks my heart watching them distrwhen i say no im a bitch oroy them selfs the 23y is living with her boyfriend who is a 40yr abuser and the 25 yr is living with me and her dad with her 5yr. son whom im raising because shes never home she woith her boyfriend whom is a user and got her started on it. they sayn their going to get help but when i try to wake them to take them to maryhaven they nwont get out of bed and say ill go tomorrow. then they always want money for cigs or whatever and all the yelling starts over again i cant take it anymore but also i cant stand to see them suffering. please help what am i to do?

  • Barb

    Hi. I have a 41 year old step daughter who is a severe alcoholic. she also uses weed and I believe prescription drugs. She has tried suicide two times to my knowledge, once she ended up in the hospital She has two children ages 2 and 10 and lives in a different state with a very enabling husband.

    She calls and is very verbally abusive to her father and myself. She knows she is an addict but does not want to change and actually told me the her God is wine. We have set boundaries and told her we would love to see her if she will moderate her drinking in our presence. She refuses so we haven’t seen her in awhile. She still calls, emails, however and accuses us of abandoning her children and insists we act like grandparents. We always send gift for birthdays, Christmas etc but will not visit the children because then we would have to interact with her. She has no interest in changing.
    Her father has detached now, but without love. He is done. He wants nothing to do with her and I totally understand his reasoning..but is it the right approach? Shoud we still stay in contact, encouraging her to seek help…but refusing to engage in the disease…or should we just shut off all contact? I would appreciate your insight. Thanks

  • Heidi

    I have a 26 year old son who has been on/off again with drugs. He moved back home with us, and as far as I knew he was clean. We did set boundaries with him about staying out all night without letting us know and we did set an amount of room and board. He was working, but we never received rent after 2 months from him. We discovered he was doing drugs sitting in our living room, after we had gone to bed. He starting skipping work and staying out all night, his cell phone was disconnected, due to no payment. His clothes started missing, then his shoes. He stole my debit card one night and returned it the next day, saying I must have dropped it on the floor. We made him leave, he has no friends and no where to live, he is currenlty living on the streets. He says he is not using drugs. He is amazed that we made him leave our home. I am having a real hard time with this. It is so hard to detach, I feel like the worst mother in the world. He shows up every other day at my door, begging to let him in and take a shower, but he still refuses to get help or admit that he has an addiction. I attend my first al-anon meeting tomorrow. I just cannot get over the fear that the police will knock on the door and tell me he is dead. I will not be able to live myself, my life will be over, also.

  • Marla

    Hi,
    My boyfriend was released from prison last week. He was away for 8 months. He was a heroine addict. While he was away he got clean and says he will go to outpatient and NA to recover. He is waiting for welfare so he can’t go to outpatient until this kicks in. However, I stress to him the importance to NA and the 90 meetings in 90 days. He has tried NA in the past and says he doesn’t like being around “those people.” It depresses him. He told me I nag him and he doesn’t want to be forced to go to meetings. He says he will go even though he doesn’t want to. Last night, he says he went to his first meeting though he went to the wrong location but was a little late. I told him this is a good start but he doesn’t really want to talk about meetings. He says he wants to stay clean and will make every effort, but why won’t he attend these meetings. I am afraid if he doesn’t get a consistent pattern going on he will return back to drugs. I am worried about him and it is hard to practice detachment. He told me last night he has no urges to do drugs but I don’t believe it because he has been an addict since he was a teenager and now is 33. He has been in and out of jail as a result of his addiction. How should I talk with him so he doesn’t get angry and defensive? Yesterday, he told me he was depressed because he has had back pain since he was incarcerated. He can’t do the same type of work as he used to and he is worried about how he will make money. Right now he is staying with family in a drug free home. He says he is missing some of his prayer books and meditation books. He has felt unmotivated since his release. Is this normal? Any suggestions?

  • Anonymous

    Thank you very much this has helped me. My dad is a alcoholic that drinks around the clock for over 30 years. The past at least 3 months he has been drinking 30 beers every 24hours. I’m living with him and its just me him and my dog and i read this whole article and it is very clear that you know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. I’m ready to leave my dad because its miserable if i stay and he is always drunk. He has been to the hospital two times since we moved to savannah GA. We lived in WI and me and him moved because he got fired from his job and we wanted to live somewhere warm. Well now i find that leaving all my family in wisconsin and living with my alchoholic dad in GA has been just miserable. I love my dad very much, but I can’t keep living like this. I’ve read alot of things online and talked to alot of people so I know all about how Alcoholism works. My mom is suggesting that I leave and come back to Wisconsin. My mom left him and now I’m wanting to. I’m all he has left and he says if I leave him that he will die. He has no liscence and I have to get him beer and cigarets every day and I’m sick of it. He has tried to quit twice since living down here and has failed. He has quit drinking before but now is sick as ever. hasnt eaten within 4 weeks again( this has happened several times btw). He is just living off beer and I can’t stand living with him nomore Im going to go insane I’m not kidding Neither. Now he’s talking about going in again and trying to quit and he seems like he means it, but He’s been doing this for a long time. Now I have a decision because everyone tells me that i need to go on with my own life and get away from my dad. But he is at the point for when he needs to go to the hospital. He would probbly blow like a .35 right now thats how bad he is. If anyone has any advice please email me i would greatly appreciate it. I’m going to try to go to a ale non meeting, but I’m still trying to locate one.

  • AMS

    I’m glad this website came up when I Googled about trying to help and understand an alcoholic and drug addict. I can relate to many of these stories on here. I was living with my boyfriend for 4 years. The first two years were terrific. We were working professionals starting a life together. However,the last 2 years he became addicted to Vicodin following an accident with his hand. He was also drinking very heavily. He went out on disability to manage his depression and anxietey disorders. I guess he had too much time on his hands because his addictions got worse. One night, he disappeared and was so out of it he had no idea how to get home. Once he got home, he turned on me. He started yelling at me, then punched me in the back of the head. I went to work the next day and when I got home he was still drunk. I gave him an ultimatum — go to detox or leave the house. He chose detox. After he left detox, he was doing well. After 7 months, he thought he had all his demons under control so he decided that he can have a beer here and there. Then it turned into bottles of wine, then vodka and wiskey. He was also on Suboxone for the opiate withdrawals. Last week, he was so drunk that he couldn’t find his way home. I paid for a cab. I finally decided enough was enough and I left to a friend’s house. I shut my phone off. I put my phone back on hours later just to have my voice mails clogged with messages about how he hates me and how he destroyed our place. Later on, I received a text message from my neighbor saying that he tried to kill himself by taking a bottle of Xanax. He was taken to the psych ward by the cops. He just finished a week in there and has moved back home to focus on recovery. In retrospect, I may have been an enabler and I feel extremely guilty. I thought I was doing things to please him because I loved him…it’s my nature to be generous with people. He’s now cut off all communication with me. I want to be there for him. I want to inspire him. I don’t drink anymore because of all this. I make a great living. I think I have my head screwed on straight for the most part, but I’m struggling to find answers as to how this could have been avoided. I have gone to therapy and Al Anon meetings. This has been a very tough journey in my life. No matter what, I will love and support my now ex-boyfriend.

  • Judy

    My friend who is an alcoholic gets mean, combative, stumbling down crying drunk. She has used me for a
    punching bag twice. She physically hurt me this last time and I had to go to the doctor. I have bruised
    cartlage and a cracked bone in by sternum. I am done.
    She is very needy and has lied to me so many times I can’t count them. I have suggested rehab to her several times and she refuses. Her comment is always
    no, not going. Been there and it doesn’t work. I told her the reason it didn’t work is because she didn’t work the program.

  • Ingrid

    My son, 28, who was clean for 8 years, moved home and in the course of one year relapsed on heroin. Ten years ago, he was in rehab three times—adding up to almost 3 years of his life. He knows the answers. He knows what he needs to do, yet thinks he knows more than everyone else. He got out of a detox facility last Sunday. He went to a meeting Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday–I’m not really sure. Thursday and Friday he did not go. I feel sad for him. He is staying in his room like a recluse. He is not making the phone calls that he was told to make by the detox facility and the writing seems to be on the wall. He doesn’t want to help himself. My heart breaks….

  • MsMariette

    I feel so much pain and sorrow for all of us that have these kinds of people in our lives. They will even try to convince you its okay as long as they are functional at work! It’s more than an illness…It’s a SELF-INFLICTED sickness! And they will manipulate you into thinking that you have the problem and try to enable you too. They don’t care about you! Remember, their wives, mothers, sisters, BF and life partners are DRUGS and Alcohol NOT you! They will NEVER give you credit for anything to keep you in limbo…Don’t fall for their games! Set bounderies, don’t let them enter into our lives unless they take control of their own lives before they enter back into yours (emotionally and mentally), they are not capable at this time in their lives to handle anything else not even themsleves is WHY they are selfish. They don’t have time, energy or the power for anything else in their lives. If we take back the power from them and empower ourselves AGAIN, then they will see by example what they are missing out on. I am all for healing and empowerment, but not at my own expense where I wont be able to function. HINT: When they go out there to “binge” don’t let them back in! It’s legally called ABANDONEMENT for them to leave you to fend for yourselve while they selfishly take care of their own habit without any regard for you and your welfare…I have literally stopped most if not all bad abusive habits by filing police reports on the primary wage earner/husband/spouse/caregiver to document and report a reason to seek spousal support of his wages and have an allotement taken out of his paycheck directly to me from an order from the courts to while you are still married after showing abuse and abandondment and mismanagement of funds to propery pay bills on time to run our household. He didnt like it but this gave me less frustration, more confidence and MADE him accountable to be more responsible to me and his actions that neglected my needs. Check your local county and state for your own marital and spousal laws. Some state are not as liberal or FEMALE friendly, and will give you a hard time to seek this kind of support from the court systems.

  • Lia

    tupac said “fear is stronger than love” the hardest thing to do is surrender. I know if i hang on until tomorrow things will get better as long as I surrender to Him/Her for the next 24hrs. Thy Will, not mine, be done. AMEN thanks for being in my life today.

    Lia 30days clean and sober as of 2/23/11

  • MARIA, R.R.

    Uncharted area please help!
    We were devastated in finding out that our daughter of 34 was addicted to Oxycontin last week , we had feelings that something was not right and had already distant ourselves from her and her constant requests for money by the end of December 2010. We have had very little contact with her since, until last week when we were told by a person that she had confided in. We think that this must have been done subconsciously for the person in question is not regarded as a confidential person, but however an extended family member. When we confronted her she revealed that she was detoxing at home from a usage of 80 mg plus a half pill down to either 40 or 20 mg which she had weaned herself down from four months ago. We have always set boundaries with our children and like all parents have relented in some instant, but we feel so strongly against drugs that we refuse to enable her in anyway. We have had since our discovery of this had many conversations with her, but cannot be certain how true any of this is. She states that she is broke and in debt up to her ears. We continue not to supply her with money, we have brought her some food. She smokes cigarettes and asked if we would buy her some, we refused. If she is telling the truth, when do we start to help her? According to her she has been clean for 10 days and has to try to set her affairs in order. She has absolutely no money, her car in impounded, her apartment is a pig sty. She has no choice but to try to address this the best way she can, for our believe is that she got herself into this mess, then get yourself out. However we do recognize that we need to participate at some point and help her, but when do we do this? She has also been writing down everything she is feeling regarding this and where her pain is coming from. We will support her in any way to ensure a total recovery. We have tried since last week to get an appointment with a drug counsellor, but have yet to secure one. There are waiting lists for this type of help! Our daughter is so intelligent, loving and giving, but is also and has been a very manipulating person. She has never settled into a profession and moved from one to another and has since birth always been a person searching for her ideal in all regards of life. We consider ourselves to be strong people but this has broken us, I am certain I need not express the pain that we are all experiencing, her our darling, beautiful, gifted daughter and our family. Any insight would be so appreciated, please anything!

  • Gemma

    Thank you I really got a lot out of your site/ article. Having dealt with personal alcohol & drug abuse in the past, I am currently finding it very difficult to deal with a (pregnant)close friend’s total denial of their alcoholism. Thank you.

  • des

    This website is very informative. My situation is…I have been with my boyfriend for 11yrs off and on. The reason we keep separating is his alcohol/drug abuse. We have 2 small boys together which makes it all the more difficult. Not to mention I have heart/kidney failure also. He has been out of work for 3yrs now and refuses to stop the alcohol, smoking, and pills in order to find work. I want to support him and be there for him, but am finding it useless. I grew up in an alcoholic home and don’t want that for my children. I don’t ever buy his “habits” for him, but he finds a way. He once told me he knew he had a problem, but that quickly faded from his mind. I promised myself that if I made him leave; it would be for good this time. Knowing that makes it very hard to let go of any emotional ties. If I kick him out he will be out on the streets literally, as his family has already given up on him…I am all he has. Please any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • ANN

    My 22 years old addict son went to rehab was doing fairly well but recently seems to have relapsed He has not be in his usual contact with family for about 5 weeks and won’t answer his phone. I have sent him emails and he knows I am worried. Do I just let him go and wait? I was told he knows what he has done and don’t contact him again. He recently started going out with a woman 8 years older than him and lets say she is not a moral pick. Should the family do an informal intervention or just let him come around. He asked to be taken for help last year when he admitted he was an addict. As for myself I cannot continue on this emotional horrible ride. Imput from anyone please

  • LMW

    I’m grateful to find this thread of conversation. I am very susceptible to trying to “help” addicts. My older sister was the beginning of that. I didn’t want her addiction to kill her, so I lost myself completely trying to “save” her. I was exhausted and living an unmanageable life. I finally cut off from her and gave her numbers for AA on the advice of a friend. I didn’t know if she was dead or alive for 3 months, but she showed up one day and was clean and attending meetings. 8 years later she thanked me and acknowledged me for letting her fall to her rock bottom that time. She realised how hard that must have been for me and how much pain I must have been in, but it was my action of letting her go that allowed her to save herself. She’s very well and successful 15 years down the road… However, I became involved in an addicted relationship 3 years ago (it wasn’t obvious at the time, but became progressively worse) and find myself in exactly the same position again – having to find the strength to let someone go, because I am keeping them going in their addiction and they won’t change and furthermore resent me for loving and caring for them. This is the horrible irony of loving an addict. The more care you give, the less they can stomach you because (in their love for you)it causes them to feel: (a) shame,(b) some deeper sense that you are allowing them to stay sick, and (c) pain for the responsibility of pain they are causing you. It hurts alot, because you can love the person and not the behaviour, but it makes no difference to an active addict/alcoholic – in fact your love for them increases the addictive cycle because shame drives it. Without going into the grief and anger … what I am trying to do is see myself as the perpetrator and not the victim in this. It’s difficult to not feel like a victim, instead just blame the other person for the situation, when actually I allowed him to stay sick – I did things for him that he should have done himself, I bailed him out of financial crises, I paid all the bills and supported him through a very difficult family crisis… They are all things you do to be “loving”, but addiction is so cunning and baffling that none of it is ever as you think. It hurts to see my own role and co-dependency in this. He left me a few days ago, just walked out after 3 years and there’s no contact. The pain is unbearable. I just have to keep remembering that letting go was the key to my sister becoming well, and I have to focus this time on getting myself well and moving on. I can’t live my life waiting for my partner to get well, or walk back through the door. That would be insane. I am trying to focus on my own sanity and growth. I know we have a lot of love for one another, but the addiction and co-dependency was insidious. Good Luck to others that are going through the very difficult process of detaching with love.

  • Barbara

    I have a 44 year old son who has fought addition since he was 24. He has even been in jail. He now has a family and does fine for a while then he goes on a binge and goes through several thousand dollars at a time.
    We have been thru rehab twice and he keeps sliding back from time to time. What can we do? I see no good for him or his family.

  • Emperatriz

    My sis relaspsafter 9 years of being cleaned. Now, she doesn’t want to go do a program because she is afraids of getting locked up for years.Please help how can we help her?

  • Hopeless?

    I have been engaged and lived with a percocet addict for the last 12 years. He will be 50 this year. The last two years, I was the sole financial provider…His parents supplied him with cigarette and gas money. He also owes me quit a bit of money from several years ago. Every time, I set boundaries, we ended up in a huge argument. He started seeing a psychiatrist and now a psychologist two months ago…probably b/c of my persistence. Two weeks ago, I could not deal with his 4-day withdrawal and told him to stay at his parents. He goes through withdrawal appr. every two weeks. His mom is the one that supplies him with the pain meds (10-20 a day). He has not come home while I was there for the last two weeks. We have talked on the phone twice since he left. He said that he just didn’t see the light anymore, didn’t know if he wanted to keep the relationship going (bumpy ride) and was thinking about an outpatient meth clinic. I told him that whatever he decided I loved him and wished him the best. Since I have not seen him for two weeks, my resentment is much less and my love for him is greater again. However, at the same time, I do not want to enable him. Any suggestions on how to help him in a loving way without enabling him? Thanks.

  • tired

    Hello. I have been married to an alcoholic for 26 years. I was seperated from him for 3 years and then we got back together. Of course he told me he would not drink if I came back home but, here we are and he still drinks. His drinking has caused alot of pain and cost alot of money e.g. dui’s, lawyers, etc. When we seperated I left and took our daughter. She is on her own now and it is he and I. He cant just drink a beer or two. When he does drink it is like he is drunk on two beers. He becomes obnoxious and it is at this time that he wants to fight with people like the neighbors. He is a mess. He was cutting wood the other day drinking. He went out and shot the gun while he was drinking. It makes me pretty nervous. This time I think I will file for a seperation and see if I can get a house. He doesnt care about the house. He has let it fall down around us. Now, the insurance is so high because of the neglect that it doubled our house payment and he complains about that. I have been going to school part time since 2004. I will finally graduate this year and believe I can take care of the house on my own. Its in both our names and he has done nothing to improve it. We have windows out in the shed with flooring and things like that yet, he cant ever get these things fixed. I know I am venting right now I am just exhausted. I am detached but, still living here and when he drinks he can be mean. He has been very mean in the past. I have given up on him changing. He has been through counseling and AA and law required counseling and nothing has totally stopped him. He goes sober long enough to get out of trouble but, then back to it again. He has COPD and with the continual drinking I know his health isnt the best. Any suggestions for me? I would truly appreciate it.

  • My Son, my son

    “This time is going to be different. Really, I swear, I know you don’t believe me and I don’t blame you but this time I want to stop for me. I’m done. I’m done with all the craziness. I just want to be normal and live a normal life. See,I didn’t even want to tell you this because I know you won’t believe me. You’ll see. Now I need to go to sleep.” God help us all, here we go again. Another train wreck.

  • JC

    My boyfriend who is 54 has started drinking in the last 6 months. Before when we dated for a year he didn’t drink at all. Said he gave up due to emotional things he was dealing with and decided he felt better sober. So now he’s started, and its stressing me out. He’s not a mean drunk, if anything the opposite, but when he has too many, I can’t stand to be around him. We live together and so not easy to just leave, as I moved from California to Colorado to be with him. I have confronted him with how I feel, and he said he would cut back but wouldn’t completely quit, as he didn’t want to be controlled by me. So I thought, so you want to try to throw this back at me? So I’m finding I’m detaching myself to the point to where its like having a room-mate and not a partner. Any suggestions on how to handle this situation. I’m very saddened by all this.

  • Wondering

    My best friend is in her 3rd week at a rehab center for her struggles with alcohol/alcoholism.
    We would hang out, we share a passion for the same hobbies and drink together and it was always fun times and it wasn’t until recently that it was becoming more apparent that alcohol was ruling and ruining her life. I am an occassional drinker and never realized that alcohol was affecting her in a different manner.
    I feel so unbelievably guilty for knowing she was struggling and still drinking with her, when I should have put an end to that “activity”.
    I’m ashamed to be so selfish in asking this but: will our friendship have to end in order for her to conquer her demons? I’ve sent encouraging letters talking about us getting together when she is ready and getting back into our crafts/hobbies. I need her to know that our friendship never was contingent on us drinking together. I have yet to get a response but after reading up on the detox/rehab process I understand that she is really working hard with learning who she is without the alcohol so returning my letters is obviously not (nor should it be) tops on her list of things to do.
    But will being around me and doing things we used to do MINUS any drinking be some sort of trigger that could send her into a relapse? It breaks my heart when I realize how I actually harmed her by being one of the enablers but the thought of our friendship having to end is making me very sad. Ultimately I want her to be safe and happy but, selfishly I also want to keep my friend. Any suggestions?

  • Toni Cortez

    I have a 40 yrs. old daughter, 3 grandchildren, she’s on prescription drugs, addarol, I need advice as to how/what/when to do. We have enabled her for yrs. , not knowing she was on drugs. She’s drivorced, husband was a druggie, now living with a 28 yrs. old druggie, children are at risk, she has no water in the hosue, no A/C, lives off of food stamps,..etc. It’s a very long, but probably very familiar story to you. Please give me direction, thx Toni

  • Lynn

    Hi i hope you can help me. My Son is an alcoholic and also addicted to codeine. Hes lost 2 jobs in the last 6 months due to his problem. Hes had a lot of heartache because his wife left him 3yrs ago and ran off with his sisters husband Thats when he stated abusing alcohol. I took him to the AA but it didnt do any good. He is 31yrs old and was living alone so rather than leave him alone we brought him home to live with us.He was told by the Dr that his liver count was extremely high and that he mustnt drink but it didnt work either.We are pensioners so we cant support his habit now hes got no job. I am so worried that im going to lose my Son and i dont know what to do. Please believe me hes in a bad way and i dont want him to die. He has a5 yr old daughter who he adores. Please help me i beg you i dont know who to turn to God Bless Lynn

  • Nicki

    I recently found out my boyfriend of 6 months has been using heroine regularly for the psat 2.5 months. I was devestated when i found out, and acutally found his supplies myself where he had been keeping them in his coat pocket. I immediately knew what it was even though i had never previously seen this drug before. He has rencently admitted to me and his family of his habit and says he is happy that we found it because all he wanted was for us to know so he could go through recovering wihthout us questioning why he is so sick. He is currently on day 2 without taking anything. What is the next step in recovery and when is the right time to start going through counceling? Is there a high change that he will relapse?And do you have any advice on how I should treat him right now? I feel like I cant trust him at all and Im trying not to overwhelm him with guilt but its hard.

  • http://googe ruth

    Hi everyone, i can realy unterstand all teh pain and fear you all goin throgh.Question to Loney. What did you dicide to do since than? Listen to your Heart and Detach. Heidi, i know it must be so hart for you be strong. Maria your dauthter will get away from it. Barbara maybe your son is willd to do an liver detoxing programm at home.

    Fiona your Stroy reminds me realy on my own stroy. My partner is a crack addict Is in the battle of going off and on. He trustet me all his money but than when he needs his binge and his fix he gets aggresiv and violent which scares and terryfies me. I try to stay firm, but than i dont and give him the money or the carkeys just that he not bother me anymore. I care for him alot I love him but i allways enable him when he forces the meney to give him because its HIS. he manipulates me and allwazs sais its the last time. I am so fetup with all that struggle, and was thinking to give him all his money back to have a peace of mind. but than i think i enable him if i do that, he will use all the money for drugs and will loose everything.. And also my fear like everybody else here, is that he puts his health so much under risk, till dead. Is it a good idea to give him all his money back when he forces me, just that i have a peace of mind, or call the police? He is a lovley man just that crack has so much hold and control over him it destroys him. Any Help or answer on that?? thanks and god bless you all

  • my25

    I am so happy to have found this website. Our 40 year old son (who is gay) has an addiction to crystal meth. He started about 6 years ago to our knowledge. He did finally admit he has an addiction but does not acknowledge it affects his life. He has not worked in 2 years (his partner left him) is on medicaid and food stamps; sleeping on “friends” sofas. We refused to enable him by giving him money when he asked. He lives on the other side of the country so we do not have regular contact with him. He has not called or emailed since we refused money, but told him to let us know when he is ready to get help with his addiction and we will help him anyway we can. I cannot locate a gay organization in my area where I can join a group for therapy. I will locate an al-anon and definitely pursue that. Thank you for your website.

  • Aly

    Hello to all the readers –

    I want to start off by saying thank you to everyone who has provided input to those in need of being guided. I, too, am someone who is in search of guidance. I am 23, and like many others found someone a year ago who was just amazing in ever aspect, he was 29 at the time. We met online and started off as friends and that friendship progressed into something more. He was what I was looking for in someone without even knowing I was looking for. He is a great listener, smart, hard working, funny, and just a great person to be around. We fell for each other relatively quickly.

    One day out of nowhere, he decided to cut all communication with me. He never gave me an explanation as to why he did. Soon, I found out why he chose to cut me off. His explanation was that his life was too chaotic for me, that i deserved better and it would be best for me to go on with my life without him. I was confused and wanted more answers, but he just continued to ignore me. Months would go by and I would email him asking how he was doing. He would response and we’d make small talk, just checking in on each other. I always held on to that feeling of the potential of our relationship.

    Just recently, I decided to contact him after several months. Once again, we went back to how it was a year ago – perfect. That side of him which I fell for was back into play and we both were back to square one.

    I just learned that he has been a substance abuser for 10 years and has been clean for over a year now. Unfortunately him giving up drugs has made him turn to alcohol and now he admits to being an alcoholic. He explained to me the reasons of his actions from the year before and the reason he could not continue our relationship. He said he would love it if things could still work out for us but he said there is no hope. He has no hope that nothing good will ever work for him because nothing has ever worked for him. The only thing he believes he has going for him is his job, which is he great at and has a very good career. Aside from that, he believes that is the only good that will happen to him so he turns to alcohol. He refuses to believe a relationship will ever work for him because all his past relationships have failed. They have all been bad. Girlfriend will always end up hating him in the end. He is convinced that with time I will also hate him.

    I am a woman of faith. I believe in prayer and the higher power. He does not. I strongly believe that with having faith and patience with him I can make some sort of progress with him. I’m not talking in terms of a relationship with him but I want to provide him some sort of hope again. Hope that all his dreams can one day come true. He has amazing dreams that I know can be fulfilled, but he doesn’t feel the same about them.

    So, my question is, for someone suffering from alcoholism and depression, how can I go about by providing them hope again? What should I say/do? He has began ignoring me again and I know it is his way of trying to protect me from “hating him”, but I don’t believe in hate. I believe everyone has the opportunity for more than numerous chances. I say that because I come from a family of alcoholics who have overcome it.

    Again, thank you.

  • Jenny

    I have a brother law who has been a drunk since the age of 13and is now going on 50. He had live in different Provence then myself and my husband. Last summer he had move close to us and he divorced. My husband had offered him a job so two boy and he moved here in hope that we could help him out, things are going totally out of hand. He drinks every weekend away and now has started to threaten his kids. I have called the police and they can not do anything unless he beats them. I very concerned about this as he has put holes though the wall, I feel it only time before lases out at the kids. I have told him last night he has a list of numbers to call and said he needs to call them with in one week or I will do anything in my power to get the kids taken a way from him. All they want is fatherly figure. His drinking is also affecting his work as he does call work and tells them he can’t go because he feels sick we he had gone out the night before and drinks and then to fix the hang over drinks the next day. The mother of the children lives far away and to far to travel and needless to say doesn’t want them. I feel lost because I need to protect the children and have no idea what to do at this point only that he takes heed and go to alcoholics anonymous. I know that you can only lead the horse to water but can not make them drink. But I am think of the boys that are only in there preteens. What help is there out there for kids he can be a good father when he not drinking but his drinking effects every thing he does with the kids.

  • Victoria

    Hi Jenny,
    I hope I can be some help for you. I know what it’s like. My boyfriend has been an alcoholic for 20 years now. You need to do everything you can to protect those children because that will causethem to have problem. You need to stand up aand keep a stronge back bone. Call any family members you can to help you. What he really needs is rehab, but he will only do really good in it if he can see that it’s a problem. AA can only do so much. He needs to get a sponsor and work the 12 steps to recovery. Now it’s some hard work , but it’s his life. You and the children need to go to Al-anon meetings. You can look it up and find places and times. This will help you understand why they do what they do and how to leave with them. I’ve been there before and it’s so much better if you do this. My best of peyers to you. God Bless. Please do this you him, you and the children.
    -Victoria

  • Suzanne

    Hi, I have a question. I have a 30yo brother who is a drug addict. He has a 2 year old daughter that my parent’s are looking after, and her mother is currently missing.
    My parents have been enabling him for too long and i’m wondering how i can convince them to change. Things are spiralling out of control and they are destoying my familiy. I feel i don’t have a proper relationship wiht my parents and nor do my children. They are consumed by this. But they refuse to see that their actions are in fact hindering not helping.
    Please help..

  • Cindy

    My parents and brother are drug addicts. My father passed. My mother is HIV+ and has many other medical conditions it’s a miracle she is still alive but she won’t leave the drugs. I worry about her all the time and tried to detach myself from her because I can’t take it anymore. 38 years of my life wasted on her rehab and running to the hospitals and she is still in this life at 56. Is a matter of time for me to get that call that she is dead. I wasted my life in her addiction and now I feel like I’m giving up because I’m so tired. They all relied on me and have drained all my energy.

  • JustAnotherAddictHusband

    I’m a 42-year-old alcoholic/addict. My wife and I started dating in 1990, we’ve been married since 1993. We have three amazing children. I’ve been an addict since childhood(starting somewhere between 9 and 12, not sure exactly); I wasn’t willing to seek help until December, 1998. By February, 1999, I had convinced myself that I wasn’t an addict after all. My wife has endured 21 years of the same cycle; renewed hope because a few months go by with no betrayals discovered, always crushed by the discovery that I’ve been using in secret. We’re best friends; we spend every possible moment together… But how can I subject my best friend/soulmate to so much pain over and over? I don’t have the right to call her my best friend. In my adult life, I have never gone more than 60 days without abusing some drug: alchohol, prescription drugs, even benadryl, mouthwash, and over-the-counter cough syrup. If I have access to controlled substances, I will steal them and I will lie about it….
    Until my mid-30s, I appeared functional…coworkers, friends, and even family(except my wife, of course) had no clue there were any problems in my family.
    Then, starting about 6 years ago, things began spiraling downhill fast. I’ve changed jobs 5 times in those 6 years, with a 90-day inpatient rehab stint in the middle. Rehab didn’t work(I used a drug during rehab that did not show up on the drug tests….talk about a waste of $20000)! I have had several sponsors and I’ve participated fully in a local AA group for almost two years. The one thing I’ve learned is nothing is going to help if I never quit using. My wife demanded that I move out in April of 2010 when she caught me stealing our ten-year-old’s ADHD medicine. After a six-month separation, I moved back home in with my family in October. My wife caught me stealing my daughter’s meds again in January; so we’re separated again. Whenever I’m sober, I am welcome to spend time with my children. I had managed to string five weeks together, until today. I found a bottle of amphetamines in the kitchen cabinet while I was making supper for my kids. I took the drugs out of the capsules and refilled them with baking powder(not the first time I’ve done that). I feel so trapped…if it weren’t for my children, I could show my wife how much I care for her by leaving and never coming back. But even if that would be the best thing I could do for my children, I can’t bring myself to abandon them(but I sure have no problem stealing their drugs). I know what I am, and I know what I want for me and my family. I would gladly trade an arm and a leg for 61 days sober.

    Reading these postings made me realize how easy it is for me to slip into a innocent victim role, as if all the pain I’m feeling were not the direct result of my own deranged choices and actions.

    I hope my wife finds this site(or another like it); she never seeks help or support for herself(she’s very tough…and stubborn). I think a forum like this would really help her take care of herself, no matter what happens to me. Tomorrow is day 1 for me…time to try something different.

  • Toni

    My problem is that my husband is psychologically addicted to marijuana. He has known since he met me how I feel about this and any illegal drug, but he started back using several years into our marriage. I found out 2 years ago. He refuses to give it up. After I moved out earlier this year, he got to the point that he would give it up but on his terms. His terms always require me to give up something I love or give him “treats” for giving up the substance. I’m wary of coming back to him under these terms, because I am concerned he will be angry and resentful to me for making him give up something he loves and is still very much attached to. I also feel that these negotiations are just a stop gap measure for him until he can find a way to continue using. I want him to be at the complete surrender point before we get back together. I want him to value our marriage more than he values marijuana. Our break up is becoming more permanent with plans for him to move out of the house and me to move back in. I need to know if I should continue helping him with his elderly mother’s care financially. He has made it clear that he does not intend to try to win me back and that he does intend to see other women. I’m struggling with this one because I know he needs help to continue his mother’s care so that she does not end up in a nursing home. But should I do this while he chooses a drug over his marriage? What do you think? Would this also be considered enabling?

  • okfortoday

    This site has been very helpful. Everytime my husband (addicted to cocaine and alcohol) takes a turn for the worse, I come back and read this article. I have finally decided to take a step I have looked into a million times, and I am going to my first nar-anon meeting this week. I also decided to stop hiding his addiction from our children and take them to the meeting with me, so they can get help with their emotions too. I go back and forth between trying to be really supportive and wanting to just give up on him. I fully sympathize with everyone else who has posted, and it is comforting to read about everyone’s situations and know that I am not alone. Thank you to whoever created this site, and I hope you have stayed strong in your resistance.

  • Lori

    I have gone around and around with a very dear friend. We met at AA while he was recovering at a community center. He has been an alcoholic since his teen years (about 40 yrs) and homeless for the last ten. When he moved from the center to a room rental he was drunk within two days after 9 months of sobriety. I let him move into my spare bedroom. That was three or four years ago. It has been a continuous cylce for me and him. He lives here with the no drinking rule, then drinks and I throw him out and move his stuff (six times now), he sobers up out on the street (no easy task for the gifted pan handler that he is), moves back in and blah blah blah, ’round we go AGAIN. Then the horrible happened. Me, with seven years clean/sober time begin to smoke pot and drink with him. I could see things going sideways REAL fast. (I came to this town with nothing except a van and a dog and two months under my belt–not to mention three outpatient treatments for alcoholism. I found employment and have made a home for myself). But as some of us might know once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. I had to ask him to leave. He has had SO many opportunities, gotten back on the horse many times and still no lasting sobriety. I tried to help but I have to wonder what are his other isuues? I can’t understand someone constantly getting back on their feet and throwing it all away–not just once but many times. I guess that’s addiction for you… I have to take care of myself first and putting him out (back to the streets) doesn’t make me feel good but feelings aren’t everything. I don’t want to go back to the alcoholic I was. With depression, lack of purpose, no employment, regret, shame… all that. There isn’t an easy solution or answer. I takes incredible will power AND and a decision to stop. I know he wants these things, too, but… I can’t help him. He must learn from the consequences of his own actions. I feel for the guy. Addiction is a real bear. It doesn’t make sense and it hurts people. We have to take care of our selves first and foremost. The detachment piece is good when dealing with addicts and boundaries are so important. I know I can’t let this man back into my home like I have done, wanting to help because so far I haven’t really helped him achieve sobriety. It IS an inside job. I have to be firm but not attack him. I have done a lot for him but the rest is up to him. I must hold onto what I have. Thanks for “listening”.

  • Patrick

    If you are struggling with a friend or family member who suffers with addiction or alcoholism, then you can find help and support in the forums. It just takes a second to register, or you can browse the comments there without signing in at all. Thanks!

  • http://www.ExecuCareARC.com/ Jacquie Damgaard PhD

    This is a great post about such a difficult position to be in. There are two things I remind the families I work with at ExecuCare. The first is that someone doesn’t have to hit rock bottom before they seek help. And the second is that a person who relapses after treatment isn’t hopeless. In fact relapsing can sometimes be a great motivator and offer insight into how to build an even better and stronger recovery.

  • Brooke

    I am 33 years old and up until a 1 and 1/2 years ago, I had 13 years clean. I thought nothing could ever take that from me. I was well educated and solid. Then my brother died in a car crash. He was the first (still) the only person that I had lost, that I talked to every day. My boyfriend was not very supportive and so I chose to go back to my drug of choice, Meth. I love my boyfriend but he is an ignorant man. I went to him 3 months after relapsing. I told him I was on drugs and I asked for his help to get off. (BIGGEST MISTAKE). Somehow he thinks I should just stop. That forcing stuff like rehab on me is helping. I think he has just pushed me further down the rabbit hole. Told me he is ashamed of me. I am wondering what I can do to help him understand addiction? Cause anything I try and tell him he says I’m lying. Cause that’s what drug addicts do. I have never been a dishonest person.. Drug world or not.. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • gayle wilson

    my daughter invited me out with her last night (Mum) with her sister for a game at pokies – she becomes more intoxicated as evening goes on really drunk with in an hour – we say we are going home, she wants to stay, she is 27, ok and will msg us to pick her up. I pick her up and she brings home a random guy, she is so paralytic, worse than ive seen her, she comes home and breaks a glass falling all over the place, it is so embarrassing, the guy is sort of dumbfounded, after an hour I knock her door and say prob best if he goes home, he comes straight out and goes, she eventually goes to bed. she comes out hungry I make supper for her and she goes to bed.
    I can see so many things Ive done after reading all the info above, I already know what your going to say I think, – what should I say this morning?

  • http://freedomlovespelltemple.yolasite.com/ Sarah

    !!! I Sarah Post This Testimony Coz My Husband Is Back Thanks To Dr.Ukaka

    I have never seen myself shed tears for anything before, but this very day that my lover left the house with annoyances after we had some fight about him always coming home late i cried the whole day, But after so many days of loneliness i decided to look for solution to my relationship and answer came to me when i saw Dr.Ukaka details on the internet and i read a lot of reviews about him and i decided to give him a call and through the help of Dr.Ukaka my lover came back to me within 48 hours and since then he has never come home late, So you can see how powerful and useful Dr.Ukaka is to the whole world that is why i am going to be putting Dr.Ukaka contact details right now for the sake of those people that will need his help contact Dr.Ukaka via mobile +2348133873774 or you write him via email at freedomlovespell@hotmail.com also contact him for help.website address: freedomlovespelltemple.yolasite.com

  • http://freedomlovespelltemple.yolasite.com/ Sarah

    !!! I Sarah Post This Testimony Coz My Husband Is Back Thanks To Dr.Ukaka

    I have never seen myself shed tears for anything before, but this very day that my lover left the house with annoyances after we had some fight about him always coming home late i cried the whole day, But after so many days of loneliness i decided to look for solution to my relationship and answer came to me when i saw Dr.Ukaka details on the internet and i read a lot of reviews about him and i decided to give him a call and through the help of Dr.Ukaka my lover came back to me within 48 hours and since then he has never come home late, So you can see how powerful and useful Dr.Ukaka is to the whole world that is why i am going to be putting Dr.Ukaka contact details right now for the sake of those people that will need his help contact Dr.Ukaka via mobile +2348133873774 or you write him via email at freedomlovespell@hotmail.com also contact him for help.website address: freedomlovespelltemple.yolasite.com….

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  • julei lucas

    My name is sarah dixon, am from Dublin. i want to use this opportunity to thank my great doctor who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great man DR.Zaza brought my husband back to me, i had 2 lovely kids for my husband, about 3 years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i shouldn’t worry about it at all so i asked her what was the solution to my problems and she gave me this great man phone number and his email address. i was doubting if this man was the solution, so contacted this great man and he told me what to do and i deed them all, he told me to wait for just two day and that my husband will come crawling on his kneels just for forgiveness so i faithfully deed what this great man asked me to do and for sure after two days i heard a knock on the door, in a great surprise i saw him on his kneels and i was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was crying and asking me for forgiveness, from that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart flew away,since then i and my husband and our lovely kids are happy.that’s why i want to say a big thank you to drzazaspelltemple100@hotmail.com This great man made me to understand that there no problem on earth that has no solution so please if you know that you have this same problem or any problem that is similar, i will advise you to come straight to this great man. you can email him at: Email: drzazaspelltemple100@hotmail.com or call+2348103508204 ,

  • weaveralicia

    i want to thank Dr Usunorbu of drusunorbuspellhome@gmail.com for making me happy in getting my ex lover back after broken up with me last month,i contacted this spell Dr for help and his work was guarantee that i was going to get my ex lover back after 24 hours, although i doubted his word but i decided to give it a try by cooperating with his terms, i did not only get back my ex lover after the spell, but i was also promoted in my place of work, i thank this powerful and trust dr who helped me found joy in my relationship, and me and my ex who is now my lover again is getting married on the 6th of next month, i am so happy that atleast i am with my lover again after all the pains and stress i being through when he first broke with me, i thank Dr Usunorbu (drusunorbuspellhome@gmail.com) i am so so happy i love my lover so much that i was almost end my life when he told me that it was over between both of us, but i thank the spell caster send by God in heaven to help his people, i am grateful Dr Usunorbu i am proud to know these spell Dr i am happy that he help me with my problems, for making my life see joy and happiness again, i am happy for his kindness, i am so happy,so i decided to share my store on the net so that people will see the good which Dr Usunorbu of (drusunorbuspellhome@gmail.com) has done for me in my life, and if you are out there passing through any condition, or having bad time with your lover,or your lover has broke up with you, do not think than to contact these same spell caster on his email address(drusunorbuspellhome@gmail.com) and you will consider your problem solve. Thanks Dr Usunorbu and i pray you will live long forever because you are so kind and powerful, this is my story from Lydia Claire From Texas United State Of America

  • mark

    Hello, my name is Miss faith, I’m from USA. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is genuine and real. I never really believed in any of these things but when I was losing Garvin, I needed help and somewhere to turn badly. I found consultant.odia spells and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Several days later, my phone rang. Garvin was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not only come back, the spell caster opened him up to how much I loved and needed him. Spell Casting isn’t brainwashing, but they opened his eyes to how much we have to share together. I recommend anyone who is in my old situation to try it. It will bring you a wonderful surprises as well as your lover back to you. The way things were meant to be.” you can contact the spell caster on ogbonispelitemple@hotmail.com he’s very nice and great. …………………

  • jessica

    Hello,
    Am Jessica by name My ex-boyfriend dumped me 6 months ago after I
    accused him of seeing someone else and insulting him. I want him back in
    my life but he refuse to have any contact with me.I was so confuse and
    don’t know what to do,
    a friend of mine introduce me to Dr Ayelala by giving me his email, i never believed until
    I contact him and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me after 3days that my ex will return
    to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my ex came knocking on my
    door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not
    only that,we got MARRIED.all thanks to Dr Ayelala. If you have a
    similar problem please contact him on doctorspellsolution@hotmail.com

  • Shawn

    I want to use this medium to thank this great prophet who brought happiness to my life again, Have been married for 3years now and i cant conceive any child, my mother in-law, begin to hate on me even when i visit her, she ignores me, with this reaction from my husband people, i felt abandon, i tired all pill and consultation, but all prove abortive, until i was browsing through the internet and i saw a testimony of a woman who saved her marriage from divorce.Immediately i picked courage to give a try,When i contacted prophet osaze he requested for my information and current state of my marriage and assured me that i will smile again and all those who hate on me, will now worship me.Behold after 48hours of prayer section on phone an via email with him, i experienced changes in my life style, my mother in-law called me to check on me and her son, she has never done this for 2years now, i was suprise and fully convinced when she came over to our house during the weekend to check on us, with her two other daughters. the all apologized for ignoring me and hating on me.To be short, in 4weeks of this section prayer completed, i conceived and my marriage is blessed with a baby boy. We all happy and will forever be grateful to this man. I agure all woman and men with marital or relationship problem to contact prophet Osaze via email: spirituallove @ hotmail. com, today..

  • Aferdita Demirovski

    is BANGOLA you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship,I
    promise you.your problems will be solve immediately. After being in
    relationship with him for seven years, He left me, i did everything
    possible to bring him back back but all was in vain. I wanted him back
    because of the love I have for him, I begged him but he refused until I
    explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should
    rather mail a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him
    back but I am the type that never believe in spell, I had no choice than to
    try it, I mailed the spell caster, he told me there was no problem that
    everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me
    before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day,
    that was around 4:00pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the
    call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened,
    that he wanted to return to me, that he love me so much. I was so happy and
    surprised. Since then I have made a promise that everybody I know will
    never have a relationship problem, that I will refer them to the spell
    caster to help them. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his
    email: doctorbangola@gmail.com
    thank you

  • annonymox

    “Thanks your Dr OBODO your spell helped me during a troubled time in our marriage. I was so hurt and upset I couldn’t think. Your love spell opened my heart back up.”visit DOC at templeofanswer@hotmail.co.uk cell +(234)8155425481

  • annonymox

    Dr obodo, I wanted to take a minute to thank you for all of your work and effort. I requested a love spell and received the strengthen our relationship and within 3 days my lover was back and home with me and we are finally talking about marriage and kids! I cannot thank you enough for your spell casting services! I have already recommended two friends to you for help with their love lives!!! also viewer out there here is Dr obodo templeofanswer@hotmail.co.uk or quick response +2348155425481 Bless you and Thank you

  • talana

    I have a 26 year old daughter who is an addict. Four months ago we got her to go to rehab but 6 weeks out after a 6 week programme and she is using again. When we found out she was using again we confronted her. She simply packed her stuff and left. We do not know where she is and she is not returning our calls. I know it is the drugs but I’m consumed by fear. And I do not know how to deal with this.

  • Mary Ann

    Am making this testimony to the world because of what this great man called Great Mutaba did for me i never believed in spell casters until i came in contact with this great man my boyfriend left me 1month ago because of another girl i was so down and felt that the world should end until i contacted Great Mutaba who told me that i should not worry that he will come back to me and he told me all i need to do which i did and after two days my boyfriend called and told me that he was sorry for leaving me that he wanted to come back and i was so happy so am telling the world in case you are having problem with your relationship you can contact him with the following greatmutaba@yahoo.com or call him on +2348054681416 ……,……………………
    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4)You want women/men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8)If you need financial assistance.
    (9)Herbal care
    10)Help bringing people out of prison
    Contact him today on: greatmutaba@yahoo.com ,,,,,,

  • Jessica Williams

    What will i do to thank Doctor Atete the great spell caster for the help he rendered to me? how do i appreciate him for helping me get my lover back after 9 years of breakup? this is a testimony i must share because Doctor Atete is a God on earth. My heart is filled with Joy because Meyer the father of my three children is back. He left me 9 years ago for Jessica and said he does not love me any more because we had a fight, though i did all i could to get him back but my effort seems abortive just 4 days ago a friend of mine told me about Doctor Atete who helped her to solve all relationship problems so i decided to contact him also via email. Today i want to let the world know that Doctor Atete’s spell is active, he is a man of his word and can be trusted 100% because as i speak now Meyer the father of my three children came back to me yesterday on his knees begging me to forgive and accept him back. Do you need help of any kind then Contact Doctor Atete today via Email: doctoratetespelltemple@hotmail.com or website:http://drzazazworldofpowerfulspellwebscom.webs.com or Whats-app: +2348068784784 or call him: +2348068784784 or +2347056505954

  • Shannon Smith

    I am Shannon by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address aisabulovespell@gmail.com, have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr.Aisabu. His email: aisabulovespell@gmail.com …..

  • Monica Baker

    my husband broke up with me about two weeks ago, he didn’t give me a reason why, he just told me that he wanted to be honest and that he didn’t love me anymore, I loved him so much but he does is to travel with different girls to unknown destination, I was all over the internet trying to find who could help me out with my situation but no results at all or little signs, I was about to give up, then luckily i found robinsonbuckler@ yahoo. com in the internet, that this spell helped a woman who had the same issue as mine, when i contacted Mr Robinson , he said he will help me and just as he said, I received a call from my husband begging to reunite with me again. i accepted him and things really changed he stopped his bad habit, We came back together and I was astounded because so many say they are the best but can’t back it. but Mr Robinson buckler really surprised me with his spell,

  • Anastasia Hayden

    My name is Weslie Vivian am from Canada i am very happy for the wonderful work Dr bolingo has done for me i got married to my lovely husband last year February and we have a lovely son. things was going well with us and we are living happily. until one day my husband started behaving in a strange manner i could not understand, i was very confused with the way he treat me and my son. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was sad and also frustrated i did not know what to do,i was sick for more than a week because of the divorce. i love him so much he his everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told one of my child hood friend and she told me to contact a spell caster that she has listen to one woman who testify about dr bolingo and she has been hearing about him that i should try him i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing but i just say i should try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr bolingo for the return of my husband to me, he told me that my husband have been taken by another woman. that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want to divorce me. then he told me that has to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and my son, he casted the spell and after 1 day my husband came back home and started apologizing he said that he love me so much that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that Dr bolingo casted on him that make him come back to me,right now am so happy again. thank you Dr bolingo for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. this is to every one who is facing divorces or heart break by your lover i want you to contact him now because he can do it for you his powers is great and dont have any side effect in the future contact him through his mail: bolingospelltemple@gmail.com .contact him now and your problems will be solve for ever.once again thanks to dr bolingo.

  • MONICA MORGAN

    After being in relationship with him for 3 years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the other ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, lotto, his email is DRAISEDIONSPELLCASTER@OUTLOOK.COM you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other problem like wining lottery.

  • Shoro Niyenn Loalo

    I am full of happiness and delight, on the grounds that I have my significant other once more at my palm. My partner left me for just about 2 years. He doesn’t pick or even return my calls and sends I tried each approaches to get him back, however no way. Until I met with this extraordinary spell caster called Olorun Agbalazzy, who did magic for me to get him back in less than 42hrs. I exhort anybody going to this site to run to him promptly for any relationship offer assistance. He is an extremely effective and experience spell caster you can get help from.you can contact this great man Dr Olorun Agbalazzy on his email OLORUNODUDUWASPIRITUALTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM

  • Deborah Starling

    As someone who is not personally dealing with addiction but dealing with it through a close relationship I wanted to educate myself as thoroughly as possible on the subject. I recently read a book that really opened my eyes to a different look at addiction. It is called “Addiction is the Symptom” by Dr. Rosemary Brown (http://addiction-is-the-symptom.com/). It is hard for a non-addict to understand, and sympathize with an addict sometimes. That is why I feel it is crucial for us that deal with the addiction of a loved one, to educate ourselves to better understand what they are going through. This book offers some great insight and information that I have not found anywhere else in my studies. It gave me a way to look beyond the actual addiction itself (the symptom) and better search out and heal the emotional problems behind it. Thank you to the author, this was a beautifully written and extremely helpful book. Good luck to everyone who has someone struggling with alcoholism in their lives