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  1. #1
    electra is offline Junior Member
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    Default Boyfriend has started using heroin again - I'm very worried

    I've been with my boyfriend for about a year and he was a heroin addict until about 8 years ago (he told me that until this point he had injected every day for about 5 years). To my knowledge he has not used heroin while I've been with him.

    A few weeks ago he went to Italy to spend some time with his family and while he was there he started injecting again. He texted me to say that he was feeling really bad (aches, shivers, depression, feeling sick) because he was trying to come of it and that he reckoned he would feel better in 3 days.

    He got back to England on Tuesday, still with a bit of heroin that he has used since and some tablets his friend has given him to help with the cold turkey effects (I think this is something like methadone). He seems to think that he'll be able to deal with this on his own but I am very worried about the situation. I don't know anything about heroin, and his behaviour with me is different than it was before.

    How can I help him? Is he in denial that he will be able to get off the heroin on his own now? He has a very busy job to hold down as well.

  2. #2
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    teddyb is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Boyfriend has started using heroin again - I'm very worried

    Dear Electra, Im so glad you sought out help and advice. Its very scary to be by yourself when a loved one is experiencing active addiction. In general terms, most addicts need help to deal with their addiction. Their brain will always lie to them about being in control or regaining control of their life. They need outside professional help to deal with it. They also need self-motivation. You are obviously very worried and motivated to seek help on his behalf, but HE has to want that help 1000 times more than you and should seek it on his own. Is his very busy job more important than his health/life? Heroin is a short-acting opiate and methadone is long-acting. Using one drug to get off another usually doesnt work. In my opinion here is what you can do for him. Advise him to go to a detox/rehab center, AA or NA support group, and/or seek professional counseling. Tell him how much you care about him, but that he needs to get help from people who understand addiction. You can support him in seeking out this help, but you cant do it for him, make him do it, or force him to do it. If he refuses to get help, then you have your own choices to make. Will you stay with him knowing you cannot control his addiction? Do you understand you didnt cause it, nor can you cure it?? It may take you (and other friends, relatives, etc..) telling him many times to seek help. I hope he realizes what a great gift he has in you. He has a long history of addiction and his progress to sobriety can take a long time, too. If HE is committed and motivated to recovery it CAN happen. Stay with us, Im sure lots of others will come along with advice. We do have some other girlfriends who post here (Frenchyo) so hang in there. Weekends can be a little slow, dont lose hope. Sending you best wishes and hugs.

  3. #3
    frenchyo is offline Member
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    Default Re: Boyfriend has started using heroin again - I'm very worried

    Hi electra,

    Welcome to the board!
    I am sorry you got in a situation like this.
    The first thing you can do is learn as much as possible about addiction. Then you will see the effects this f*cking disease has on the addict and on loved ones of addicts.
    You need to know that if he doesn't want help, there is nothing you can do. Trying to help or save while he doesn't want it will cause more damage than good.
    You can't control his addiction, you can't cure it, you didn't cause it.
    I am actually in a relationship with a heroin addict (he is a few months clean now), so if you have any question or if you just want to talk I am here for you.
    You came to the right place, as there are a lot of helpful and nice people.

    I'll come back later and write more :)


    frenchy.

  4. #4
    curaezipirid is offline Member
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    Default Re: Boyfriend has started using heroin again - I'm very worried

    myself also in a relationship with an opiate user . . .

    . . . my advice is:
    do not expect him to be coping inside his mind;
    do not expect him to be able to look after you until he is fully clean;
    but find out what the timing is of all opiate use, in respect of how it effects the brain chemistry, and when they are likely to be feeling susceptible to using again, etc . . . (that is relevant in respect of him having told you he will be feeling better in three days . . . pains usually start three and a bit days after use, and continue on for another three and a bit days, but the more times anybody uses again to avoid those pains, the worse the pain: all opiates have a half life of about 24+24+24+7 hours, which means that after that long, there is still half as much in the blood stream . . .)

    It is almost true to say you can expect to be lied to, cheated on, and stolen from, since opiates cause the mind to wonder whether it can get away with all sorts of bad notions, to excuse using again, to avoid the pain of withdrawal . . .

    . . . but if he loves you well enough, he will love you into being intolerant of that pattern.

    The basic story is DO NOT BE A SUCKER TO HIS PATHOS

    heroin lends itself to apathy masking itself as the kind of pathos deserving of sympathy; but they don't give a **** about you when they are crying about how hard it is to give it up

  5. #5
    electra is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Boyfriend has started using heroin again - I'm very worried

    Thanks everyone for your warm welcome - I appreciate your advice. I have been talking to him to try to find out what's happening for him because it's a bit unclear. The last time I saw him he seemed better and said that he hasn't used any more heroin. I asked him how the side effects have been and he said he feels ok. I'm still worried though. I mentioned to him that I know very little about heroin addiction and that I'm worried because of my lack of knowledge.

    I am not sure whether this has caused him to close up and not talk to me about what's really going on though. I find it hard to believe that using it while he was away will not have triggered another addiction cycle.

  6. #6
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    shar586 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Boyfriend has started using heroin again - I'm very worried

    Hi electra, Im sorry to hear that youve found yourself in the situation your in. I would love to help you out, although fear that the information you have posted isnt enough to make any pre-judgements in regard to his true intentions. I worry that one of two things may be happening, the first, that taking into account his distance and lack of involving you in his heroin issue. Which by the way I have experience in, as I was a heroin addict for 17 years, until the 28th of September, when I decided to stop using methadone (liquid form). This may be because he is scared of losing you if you knew the truth, the truth being that he is a heroin addict (even before going to Italy) and isnt ready to come off, but wants to keep you, so is seemingly taking pills to make it seem like this to you. Just because he is taking another opiate doesnt mean he doesnt use these to the same effect as heroin. Also may be a good idea to ask him what these pills are so you can better prepare yourself in regard to what he is doing, and make sure he is using them correctly. If you dont want to ask, or he wont divulge, describe them, or what is written on them and we may be able to help. Secondly, he could be telling you the truth, and that he doesnt want to share his problem with you, because he fears that you may leave him. Either way he is not dealing with this problem in the best way. The best advice yet, is that he should go and talk to someone official, like his GP, or go see your local drug agency, and arrange to see a drug councillor. Here in UK (Im from UK too) you can get a councillor assigned to you in no time at all. If indeed he is serious this is his best option. Perhaps go IP.
    Im confused, so he said that for 8 years he hadnt used anything (until the Italy binge) but used for 5 years when he did? Has he told you how he came off last time, and how long it took? Youve been with him a year, during this year when you look back, are there any tell tale signs pointing to drug abuse? Like pinned eyes, lack of appetite, loss of weight, financial constraints, or are you 100% sure he did not use before this binge? Also did he score heroin abroad or took some with him?
    I think he's very lucky to have such a supportive partner, that wants to help by educating herself about heroin addiction, this is a good thing, and education is key, it really is. It can mean the difference between a successful and un-successful recovery. But remember he is the one that is in control of the outcome of this journey. Maybe you should encourage him to post here, so he may receive some helpful advice and support. Is this something he would consider?
    Please continue to post here, and do not hesitate to message me privately if you need to, otherwise I wish you all the best, and in regard to your boyfriends recovery, I hope all goes well.

    Shar. ;)

  7. #7
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    willow3 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Boyfriend has started using heroin again - I'm very worried

    HI Electra! And Welcome! Do you know if he is seeking any form of help at all other than the pills you say he is taking? And you know there are alot of sites out there with tons of info on drug use, either for the addict himself or for the people in their lives standing by watching the madness. Just know it was very hard for him to tell you and knowing he did means he wants you to be aware of his problems and let you in on one of the darkest things in addicts lives. It is not easy for us to tell the ones we love in fear of losing them. I know just how terrifing it was to tell my man I had a problem. I mean he wont even take tylenol so to tell him my horrible story was one of the hardest things to do. I am sure he is greatful for you not blowing up on him and making him feel worse about it. Just let him know you are there for him but also try to educate yourself too. It can be just as scary to be on your side of the diease and not knowing what is going on. We are here for you, use us as much as you can to help you get through this time in your life. And thank you so much for not judging him or the rest of us that has this problem, it is people like you that make this world a better place! Peace and Love to you

  8. #8
    Bonita's Avatar
    Bonita is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Boyfriend has started using heroin again - I'm very worried

    I think addiction hurts our loved ones just as much as the addict. In a different way. I surely was not proud of the way I manipulated my family/lovers. I did it without thought most of the time.

    Maybe take advantage of the support groups all over for the family/loved ones of the addict. I bet you will find way too much in common.

    But... not much you can do to help the active addict. THey themselves have to come to terms with it and want to do something about it. NOT an easy task and a long process. For me a very long process. NO one could of done a damn thing to stop me. The best thing they did for me was walk away and let me hit my bottom. Hard I am sure for them. But the fact is... I would use them up if they didnt walk away.
    omission is not honesty, only a different way of lying.

  9. #9
    frenchyo is offline Member
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    Default Re: Boyfriend has started using heroin again - I'm very worried

    hey electra

    glad to hear from you, been thinking of you.
    Like I said, the best thing you can do is learn as much as you can about heroin addiction and recovery, to know what he's going through.
    I'll give you some links of stories posted here, of heroin addicts, that will help you understand more what this disease is.

    I really, really, really hope that he's saying the truth and has stopped using heroin. that this relapse isn't going to put him into addiction nightmare again.
    The fact that he told you about his problem, shows that he trusts you, and maybe, who knows, it shows that he wants help and support. opening up ain't easy, AT ALL. it's a good thing he told you, that he's not hiding.
    But, do not forget, addicts can be real good liars, and good at manipulating.

    How long has he been using since he started again in italy?
    I guess you're not living together, so when you get to see him, do you see any changes in his behaviour? the way he looks? his mood and stuff... things that could show you if he's active in his addiction or not.


    remember that his recovery is something that only HE gets to control. you can't save him. you can help yes, you can support him. Like the girls said before me, it's great that he is with someone like you, understanding, and willing to understand more and be here for him.
    do not forget yourself in this.
    I don't know if your boyfriend is still using or not, so I'm not gonna start telling what it is like loving an addict. and I deeply hope you will never have to learn or experience this. Too f*cking heart wrenching.

    I'll get back to you with the links tomorrow.

  10. #10
    frenchyo is offline Member
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    Default Re: Boyfriend has started using heroin again - I'm very worried

    as promised, here are the links:

    This is the very first story I read when I came to this board. he writes really well,he's honest and you see what your boyfriend can go through during a detox and recovery. you also understand more about addiction.

    Detox- The Finale

    this one is amazing :

    The Monster Inside my Head

    written by the same person :

    A Day in the Life

    this one is interesting, he has a girlfriend too.

    In the shadow of the mountainside..

    it's all i can think about right now. I also have documentaries links if you're ever interested to watch.

    I know how you're feeling, I have been there. lost, worried, afraid.

    If he's up to talk, it'd be great to know more from his side. really know if he's still using or not.


    I hope you're well,

    frenchy.

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