I am concerned that someone close to me may have relapsed into using cocaine but I am not certain. I have hunches, but they could be ruled out by other factors, and I'm trying not to let my hunches get blown out of proportion to avoid making poor judgements.
This person and I both caught a nasty about three months ago. I am healthy, and it took me around three weeks to get back to normal (no cough or runny nose, all the signs of lingering colds). This person still has those symptoms. Always a runny nose, sniffling, a rattling cough that does seem to slowly get better. This person was a cocaine addict in the past, and went through a recovery after a divorce and loss off all assets. They really hit rock bottom. I don't think their use was so financially noticable, but I think eventually it was their behavior and getting busted that made people most aware.
So they went through the process of admitting and telling everyone, and found out down the road that they had high blood pressure, and found out from the doctor they had at some point had a small stroke or heart attack, without realizing it.
I met them after they had gone through all this, when they said the had been clean ever since, which is many years. I have never found this person to be harmful in anyway to anyone around them, but I suppose this usage in the past was in an indirect way harmful to those who knew him. But in all of my experience with this person (3 years or so) they are quite respectful of others. I'm guessing some people can function fairly well on coke for a long time. This person is extremely mindful of their financial situation, I don't think they would end up losing their savings or anything that serious. I think this attitude may come from the effects of going through the divorce. Even if they are able to manage while using, I am concerned about their health, and if I'm correct, the decietfulness and hurt it can cause...
It is hard for me to describe what I have experienced...I think some symptoms could be left over from long term use. I imagine you could have symptoms of a runny nose or facial flushing from high blood pressure too...Maybe other health issues I could be unaware of. I am trying to be open minded, but still have some suspicion of possible usage...
I have notice this person go away to more private areas (e.g. going out to the shed for no particular reason, giving a casual explanation for going to these places that don't seem to be the reason) or going to the bathroom upstairs or downstairs, whichever is the farthest away from me. And when coming back, sometimes with a change in appearance its hard for me to describe, but I notice some facial reddening, more watery eyes, redder eyes, and a distinct change in the way the look in the eyes, maybe more dialated pupils...I can sometimes see a very different emotion in the eyes, if that makes sense...
This person likes sugary food like cola etc, smokes cigarettes, eats a lot of not so healthy foods. They are quite aware of having high blood pressure and don't do too much to aid this with their habits. I also suspect they may be diabetic, but I have no proof of this either. I've only suggested to them that they should get tested, more that once I have mentioned this. This aloof attitude worries me too.
I suppose they could have symptoms of Hep C from using cocaine and sharing accessories with other users. I'm not sure about this either but wonder from the discoloration in their eyes, and sometimes they show symptoms...It may be a wild guess, but not far fetched as it is common among users of this drug to contact this virus. I know this sounds like a ton of speculation, but I am trying to weigh all the possibilities and not run with only a hunch...
I have been observing this person, and for all I know they may be aware of this. I don't doubt that they would be quite secretive and effective in hiding this, especially being caught prior and having cleaned up for all to see. This was a very hard experience for them, one I'm sure they would not want to relive. If they were using again I'm sure they would want to clean-up again in private, I think that may be something common for all users... If this person is using they are doing so in a way that is fairly unnoticeable, they don't seem to be acting obviously different, only in a subtle way that someone close might notice, but that close family members might not pick up on. I share a great deal of time and a living space with this person, so I feel like I have a distinct viewpoint of this person.
I am concerned, unsure of what to do. I don't know if I can do much, and what can you do when your unsure? I decided I would continue to watch until it was apparent, but perhaps they are good enough at hiding the evidence that I will never be sure? At times I would like to outwardly approach them and ask them plainly if they are using, but I don't know how smart that is. I don't know if I hurt them or create less trust between us, especially if I'm wrong, or if they would see that I am only concerned. And I feel it could make them more secretive if I do say something. I don't want to talk to other people the person knows, or anyone for that matter for fear of a rumour etc...I don't really know anyone who would for certain not say anything, but I did try to get in contact with my previous doctor who had a drug problem in the past, but can't seem to locate him...I would like to be sure of something before I make any choices, and I'm not sure if I will ever find a way to know for sure.
Has anyone experienced anything like this, or approached a situation like this? I know it wouldn't be my problem if it was happening, but I care for this person and would want to do whatever would be effective in being supportive of them an overall sense...I know it is up to them only if they are using to get better...but I believe people need support in this situation too...Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks
Welcome to the forum....your questions are sound questions....your concern sounds justified. Even tho I am a recovering addict because I never was a cocaine user I don't have personal counsel I can offer to you.
That article I posted here is very good and if you read it you will recognize most of what you have described above. Just because w/drawal and recovery was painful ONCE before, doesn't prevent us from relapsing, even yrs later. That's the nature of the beast, I'm afraid. We have to be in a support group/recovery group of some kind to not only stay clean but to learn to live our lives in a NEW way or those old tapes eventually begin to play in our heads. I am also a person who loves MANY addicts in my life so am always dealing w/this disease of addiction from both sides.
The "signs" you are seeing and his patterns shout using......you can attempt talking to him....loving and concerned rather than angry or accusatory (not that you would)....and if he gets defensive or angry......I'd say "bingo"....you have your answer.
I have been thru this more than I can count. Currently he is in jail for using, lying to about using and probation violation. I thought he was using and just point blank asked him....he said no..no..no. So I asked he he could pass a urine test...he said yes. So I whipped one out of my purse and asked him to do it for my piece of mind. If he is right I will never ask again, but if he is wrong..then he needs to move on. I am not willing to risk my sobriety for anyone....anyway he wouldnt do it, so there was my answer. He called me every filthy name in the book, got loud, nieghbors called the cops and .....BAM..he is in jail. I know your situation is different, but rarely will a addict come clean when asked. I told him it would ease my mind because I felt like I was going crazy...I put it all on me, like I needed him to do it for me....I got my answer,,,boy I was praying I was wrong though. People who are doing the right thing have no reason to jump down your throat...only guilty ones do!
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