Addiction: Living with an Addict Community
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Avatar universal

How to give the right support to my boyfriend who is entering rehab for herion?

I have dealt with addiction my entire life my mom,sister,Dad cousins aunts and a uncle.  Its a very helpless feeling.  I have also for my own sanity have realized this is a disease and it is nothing personal even though it sure can feel like it.  I know a person has to want to get clean and nobody can make someone want it.  My boyfriend who went to rehab for cocaine addiction when 17 and has been clean from that is now 26 and broke down this week and told me he's been using heroin for about two months.   I'm pissed at myself I didn't see it.  He is entering in a rehab program out of state this Wednesday.  Even with that said because I've been lied to I almost do t believe it.  It just *****.   Due to my past with family members and addiction its hard to trust him.  I am not telling him THAT because he needs support and positive people in his life especially now.  How can I be supportive without letting my prior experiences erode my positive thoughts for his recovery?  
9 Responses
1809109 tn?1331803777
I think it's really difficult to be really supportive if there is an underlying feeling of fear. It's ok to admit fear and distrust to him, but it has to be done delicately. Perhaps in a mediated discussion, like at a meeting or counseling session. Or maybe if his rehab has a family group day. You have had a lot of experience with addiction and I believe its best to talk about it with him. It might help clear the air and help you feel more comfortable with his battle with addiction. And thereby helping you be more positive and supportive.

When my sister was using it was like she had no concept about other people's feelings; her next high was the only thing she saw or cared about. When she came out of rehab I really wanted to be supportive of her and did my best, but I was still distant. I was afraid to trust her. That feeling ebbed over time, but I'm not going to lie I wanted an apology from her. I spent most of my childhood taking care of her daughter and living in fear. That desire for an apology turned into a feeling of anger which built up until it kind of exploded. She was very understanding, but that's why I say you should let him know how you feel. Even after she was sober for a while, she didn't fully grasp how much pain her addiction caused me and talking about it really helped bring us closer.

I believe it's possible to be supportive and still let him know that his addiction influences you and is painful. I also believe trust issues are all about fear and the best way to remove said issues is to talk about them.
1235186 tn?1549257619
hello and welcome to MH.
that is great that he caught himself early and is seeking treatment. relapse is so common, even if they have been clean for years. recovery is a long and winding road.it is a marathon not a sprint.
it is very possible that he isnt being completely honest and could have been doing it longer than he admits to.
addicts are great manipulators,deceivers and liars.
yes ,the trust was definitely broken. you have a right to be mad,sad and hurt.
when they are in active addiction they dont care about who they are hurting. the drugs are more important.
when he starts to detox and comes to terms with what he has done he will begin to feel remorse. then  he will realize the hurt he has caused you.  then they are embarrassed and ashamed.
i wouldnt say anything now. give it some time.
you should check out al-anon.it is very easy to become an enabler. al-anon will teach you how not to be an enabler. also some one on one counseling would benefit you.  you most likely have some past pain and scars that have been buried deep.
please take care of yourself.
Avatar universal
Thank you for that.  You are totally right.  Trust has to do with fear. I am working through my feelings and I am very open with him in regards to this being very hard and bringing up other issues I have already dealt with on so many occasions.  That is truly awesome your sister had you.  What a great brother.  She is lucky:)
Avatar universal
Thanks Debbie!  I appreciate your post and I have a great counselor thank god.  I will for sure check out some type of group setting Alonon etc.  Much apprecitated :)
1235186 tn?1549257619
how are things going?
Avatar universal
Thanks for asking!  Not so good.  He told me he was in California at his grandmothers house (We live in Colorado) and going into Rehab this Wednesday.  He finally confessed he had lied and was in Texas with his mother and thought he could kick the habit himself.  I was disappointed but had figured that he was lying.  I decided then and there that I needed to be supportive but from a far.  I then recieved a email that he is going to Rehab sometime this week or next and how sorry he is about everything.  He said his Dad is disconnecting his phone and the next phone call I recieve will be from the land line from the Rehab center.  I am trying to stay positive but realistic at the same time.  Do you know how long after a person is in Rehab they can call someone?  
Avatar universal
Whatever happened? I'm curious as I am trying to be "supportive from a afar" to a person dear to me, but I do not want to be in the way or put myself in a place where I go down as well.. Trying to learn from those who have been there.
Avatar universal
Hi!  How crazy I recieve this message from medhelp this week.  Timing is crazy considering I have not had contact with my X boyfriend till just this week in the last 2 years.  Well, besides the drugs with my Xboyfriend I found out he lied about his age and schooling.  So with that being said and the drugs I told him we could be friends two years ago and broke up with him.  He couldn't handle being friends and morphed into this mean nasty person I didn't even recognize and the heroin helped with that total personality change.  We didn't speak for two years until just about a week ago. I finally contacted him via email to see how he was.  Over the last 2 years he has gone to jail for Heroin possesion, rehab for 60 days, got out overdoesed almost died went back to rehab for 30 days and is currently in Outpatient rehab and still fighting this disease.  I am actually attending my first Group meeting this Friday night so I can be better equiped to be there for him as a supportive friend and there for  my family with their addictions issues. I can tell my X is ready to jump into a relationship and I am not interested and will have to tell him when we meet for dinner he needs to focus on his recovery and I will be a support system.  I learned to set boundaries but it is still hard watching people around you living a torterous existence.  On top of all of this last June my biological Father was clean from Heroin for the first time for 2 months the overdosed and died.  Its really frusterating talking to people who have not dealt with having a loved one that is a addict.  Some people would say it is a choice and those with addictions are weak.I simply explain to anyone with those judements that it is a disease like cancer.  People need support.  You just have to be sure you are not enabling the person you care for that is struggling.  I google stuff to help me stay sane.  Good luck!!!
Avatar universal
I Googled boyfriends and drug addicitions and came across this conversation.  My boyfriend and I have been together for five and half years, living together for four and a half.  If you would have asked me two months ago how my relationship is, I would say perfect, minus the frustration with his financial struggles.  He said it was college debt he never caught up on.  He had a good job that he went to every day, he was sweet, caring and had a real love for our pets (he works with animals).  A little over a month ago he called and told me his car was being repossessed.  That night he was fessed up to having a ton of loans out that he wasn't paying.  I found he wasn't paying any of his bills.  I was suspicious and started going through his things.  I found pills.  He fessed up to it (not sure if he fessed up to all of it), he was remoresful and ashamed.  He said he would get help immediately.  I sent him out of state to get treatment where his parents live because I thought he would get better support there.  Things were going well, he was calling a few times a week, he told me he loved me and missed me.  Then one day last week he called and said he is sorry, but he's a bad person and will hurt me again.  He said he can't be with me he needs a new start and that's it.  I haven't been able to talk to him or see him (obviously, he's out of state).  His counselor and parents can't really give me advice because their concern is him.  What do you think I should do?  I'm literally going crazy.  I'm love sick and concerned.
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