Avatar universal

Is he still using heroin?

When I met my boyfriend he confessed to having struggled with a heroin addiction for years and said he didn't want to drag me into his problems. He was clean when we met and everything was great for a while. When he lost a job last month he went off the deep end and admitted to taking xanex (30 pills) the same day. He claims it was an isolated incident, but I think he sold the xanex and bought heroin. I have this assumption because I helped him through the same type of withdrawal he experienced over the next few nights, before we were living together (we have been living together for almost 6 months) and I recently (1 month after the relapse) found a bunch of syringes.

I had a gut feeling during the following month that he was using something occasionally, some days he was himself, most days he was depressed and some days he was crazy hyper and happy and tried claiming he was trying to be happier for me (because he was depressed for so many weeks about losing his job).  His entire family is diagnosed with bi polar disorder so I'm not sure if his his mood swings are related to that or if they're drug related.

I have found 3 syringes and 1 cap to a syringe (would be a 4th syringe) on 3 separate occasions and he used the same excuse every time, that he "found them among his things and needed to throw them out but didn't want to discard them at the house" because we live in the basement apartment at my parents house. I told him that this is the last time he is allowed to use this excuse, that I don't believe him, but once again I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and the next time he has to agree to go to meetings with me and get some kind of help if he wants to get clean and if he doesn't he should stop putting us through the misery.
As I write this question here I feel as if I already know the answer and I am just in denial or enabling him by helping him organize his life, get out of debt, see his 7 year old son and get his licence back. I tell him I am here and I'm not going to leave and that I will stay with him if he needs help, but I still think he is keeping this big secret from me.

I guess the question is: Is is possible that my boyfriend isn't using heroin even though I have found these syringes?

He tells me he wants professional help for his emotional issues and he also wants to pack up and leave everything and everyone and start new with me because he knows I'm good for him. I feel as if that's a direct cry for help to get out of his environment, but I know a location change isn't going to change him. Asking him to take a drug test is showing I don't believe him, what should I do?
26 Responses
Avatar universal
Yes unfortunately he is most likely using. Even if you don't catch him again I think him going to meetings would be a great idea. It is when things are hard that you need meetings the most. But unless you are an addict too you can only go to open meetings with him.

Now my advice in this situation - don't take over his stuff for him. We women get into ruts of wanting to help our men. Get their life organized, get bills paid off etc etc. I have done this myself. What ends up is you are doing it all and he goes along for the ride. He is so "grateful" he says. But you are the stressed one while he sits back. Ok a little harsh but it happens.

He needs to get it together himself. Get unemployment, budget his money and get a job. Don't pay his bills for him. That only gives him time and money to do what he should not. Make sure he contributes to rent food and house bills. He needs to stay responsible financially and mentally. Accountable.  If he is not, it will lead him down a path that is not good in many ways for both of you.

So it is easy to be an enabler. Without even realizing it. You have to draw a line. What you will put up with and what you won't. What you expect and do not. Drugs of any kind is a NO. He will have to move out if you catch him again. That is the hard line. You love him but won't allow him to do this around you, in your parents home. He has to be accountable. If he ever offers a test again say yes take it. You are not demeaning him. You are calling his bluff. If he turns around and says no or you don't trust me you know he is using. If he takes it then he is good.

Sorry long but I have been in your place several times. There is a fine line between living and supporting and enabling him and allowing him to use you. Many addicts know how to play on your emotions and play the game. He sounds like he may be doing just that.

Good luck!! I pray for the best for you.
Avatar universal
Hi there, i think you already know the answer to this question : )
I used to make the same excuses when my syringes were found by a previous partner.
The thing is, the first instinct you have that something is not right, is usually the correct one. The one you should listen to.
Asking for a drug test, in my opinion, is not the right way.  This could make him more distant and lie more.
Only he can answer the question if he is still using, and only you will know if hes lying.
Try be supportive and give him encouragement to seek help.
Tread gently on the subject and treat him like an equal.
The minute he feels threatened or uncomfortable, he could just deny the whole thing.
Best of luck.
As addicts, we dont set out to lie or deceive, it just becomes part of the disease : )
Avatar universal
I absolutely agree with you about the drug test which is why I don't ask him to take one and why I refuse it when he volunteers to take one, I know it just shows I don't trust him and I am trying to treat him like a human being and an equal bc he says all the time that he is trying to do right by me bc I deserve it.. I hope by treating him like a person and not an addict will help him want to be honest.
I try to encourage him to go to meetings and he says they don't help, that half the people there are court ordered and aren't sober anyway. And he is not into God, however when he relapsed we started praying every day together for a few weeks and he was the one who asked to do it everyday so I think he is trying to do the right thing, I guess it just takes time?
From what I read here it seems like there are no former addicts that can do heroin for a day here and there and then just stop, but he did quit cold turkey on his own so I don't know.
Thank you for the kind words and thoughtful response. It was what I needed to hear.
Avatar universal
Merri123, first of all thank you for the thoughtful response. I know I do not hold him accountable for enough. I try to help him get organized with his bills and his life, but I have not paid a dime towards any of these things, all along I felt like it was his responsibility and he needed to be held accountable. Every time he got paid he used to hand me his check and I would deposit it in my account, I gave him money for the week and it worked out alright. Now he is making cash, I don't know what he brings home.
I feel terrible today because yesterday when he picked me up he was trying to be in a good mood, (half the time he is like this I wonder if he is high) and because I have a basis I felt like I had the right to call him out. Turns out he got sad news, his baby momma isn't letting him see his son anymore because he doesn't pay child support (yet another thing I was helping him get set up and in order, so that when money was available it could be paid), so he was really down and depressed and acting like he was in a good mood because I told him I was having a great day... I didn't give him any time to tell me what happened, I just jumped down his throat about his eyes being half closed (when really he was fighting back tears) and I accused him of being high because I'm tired of letting it go all the time. I pointed to his arm because there are red dots and scratches, but he works with fiberglass all day which can be extremely itchy and irritate the skin, but I was tired of the excuses.
Needless to say, my family got involved, the whole thing blew up and is a huge deal now. I'm upset at myself for letting it get out of my hands and allowing my family to get involved because now he feels like everyone is against him, even though we are trying to be supportive. He keeps saying he feels like he is alone, he didn't want to look at me or talk to me, he was so hurt and felt like I betrayed him. After it all my dad told him he wants him to go to rehab, that he would pay for him to get help, or at least go to meetings and start going to church. He disagreed saying he wasn't ON drugs and didn't need rehab, but after a talk with his mom over the phone, he admitted that if he feels the need to keep needles around the house then he clearly isn't ready to give it up and that is a problem and he needs help, so he agreed to go, but then 5 minutes after the phone call said no again and then agreed to meetings, only to say again when we were alone that he doesn't know if he wants to go.
I have no idea what is going to happen, if he is going to accept the support, go to meetings and stay or if he is going to leave me because I took something too far [again].  I'm accepting half the blame, because although he gave me reasons to be skeptical, I blew it out of proportion and got everyone involved and now he knows no one will trust him or look at him the same ever again and that is upsetting him to no end.

What are your thoughts about the recent events?
Avatar universal
This is a tough one. The signs are there however it could be explained as well. I would feel the same way as you.

Once the knowledge that he has done it recently is there, it is hard to not suspect. I know that. You see the signs. And half closed eyes doesn't mean he was fighting back tears. One sign that can be seen if he has used is his pupils will be "pinned ". They will be really small.  

Keeping needles around the house just to have them is insane. And not right. If you have them, you will or are using them.

You said he is getting paid cash now. What is he doing with his $$?  Is he giving you it still?  Do you notice him making calls or texts more than usual?  Going out at random times?  You are doing good at not doing too much for him. Is he getting paid a lot less? Why is he not paying his child support?  He needs to do that.

So why don't you both go to an open AA meeting first. They are usually speaker meetings which are good because someone tells their story. He will be welcomed and can get a big book and schedule. There is always Al Anon meetings that you can go to as well.

But he has to want to go. He is so lucky to have you and your family to want to help him. My Dad would've kicked him out at the slightest thought of him doing drugs in his house. Honestly the only way to know for sure is if he takes a test. Otherwise it is speculation. Have you talked to his Mom? What does she think?

You can't force him to do this. But you also have to decide how much you will deal with. Addicts are very good at lying and twisting the truth to their advantage. To make you feel or look guilty when it is their fault. Many do not accept responsibility for their actions - it is always someone else's doing that made them use. I was blamed for it bc I was do horrible to him he had no choice. Bunch of BS. I guess my insistence in not having it in my house and calling him on his lies was bad.

So it is up to you. What does your gut tell you?
8976007 tn?1413330650
first of all, he needs to go to court to get ORDERED visitation.  she cannot keep him from seeing his son just because he isn't paying child support.  the judge can order him to pay $50 a month until he gets a job, but will order child support.  

if she brings up his heroin use the judge could order a drug test.  ask him if he is ready to take that??  he had BETTER pass that one.  

i think you had every right to confront him, but i don't think you should have allowed your family to be involved in that conversation.  it is a very humiliating thing to admit even to you privately, but to have to admit it in front of your family was just wrong.  
it was very nice of your dad to offer to help him, but you don't understand- unless HE wants help, there is no helping him.  
he refuses to go to rehab because he doesn't want to go without using. he will essentially be locked up and unable to use, but he could go to meetings high.  hope that made sense
now, the ball is in your court.  you need to figure out what you will tolerate and what you won't.  for most people, the lies and deceit that go along with their partner using is too much to handle. especially if you are not an addict.  it is very hard to comprehend.  

8976007 tn?1413330650
meant to say the judge will ORDER VISITATION.  sorry about that.  wish we could edit our posts.
1235186 tn?1549257619
hello hun. I am so sorry you are dealing with all of this. I have a husband who is a recovering addict and a 23 year old daughter.

addicts lie and manipulate. they always turn the situation around to exactly what is happening to you now.

if he  leaves you, so be it, I know this sounds harsh. after 19 years of marriage, my husband and I needed to separate for my and my children's sanity.

your bf's addiction will only get worse, as will the blame to you and your family, the lies, the manipulation, the excuses, the "you never believe me",
until he gets help and sticks with the help he will NEVER get and stay clean. addicts can not do it on their own. I know you are trying to be supportive, but he needs inpatient, outpatient, counseling, meetings, church, a solid routine, structure, accountability, (with time and money)
an exercise program, healthy diet, staying away from the people, places and things associated with his use.
he has to be accountable to you and your family, he is living in their house,

yes, he needs to be responsible for his bills, whatever that entails, ie..cellphone, car payments, car insurance, his child support payments.
you are trying to help him set up these things, he is a grown man, he needs to do these things for himself.
the more we do for them, (the addict), the less they do for themselves.

his baby mama can not prevent him from seeing his son because he didn't pay child support. that is against the law.
and yes he definitely needs to keep up with his child support, his responsibility.

because they lie so much, blame others, don't take responsibility for their
actions of course we can never know which is the truth and which isn't.
they get so entangled in their own lies they don't even know the truth.

very well could be because he works with insulation that is arms have marks. but because he has a drug history, cant pinpoint the cause.

my husband is an electrical contractor. same scenario. Me, "why are your eyes red" my husband, " because I was drilling in the ceiling and sheetrock dust got in my eye", could be true, but because of his drug history, his lies,
the money missing, his eyes half closest, him nodding on the couch, the where have you been, why did you take so long.
of course we question and rightly so.

hun I could go on and on. I had, I can say that now, (my husband has been clean and sober for 4 1/2 years, my daughter for 2 years.), praise GOD,
until he admits and takes full responsibility for him being addict, and for the choices he had made and continues to make, he will never get and stay clean.
he needs to work his recovery program, he needs to admit he needs help and to get and take the help.
not continually change his mind and go back and forth.
he is still in denial.

to give him a drug test is certainly well within reason. I did it many times.
when they say go on test me. until you have the kit and say pee in the cup that is when the rubber meets the road.
if it is you don't trust me. well how can you when you know he has lied.
once trust is broken it has to be earned back.

I hope some of this helps you.
there is always hope.
keep the faith.
sending prayers,
Avatar universal
Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses, it is helping me get through the day.

Merri123: He gives me money to put away, but ends up needing it back- he spends entirely too much on cigarettes, snacks and energy drinks, he has NO concept of money. He doesn’t go anywhere at random times, he doesn’t have a license or a car, we use my car to get to work every day and for a while I was the one driving and picking up, but with the way our schedules have changed, he is the one dropping me off and picking me up. He isn’t getting paid less, but he is working less hours. Even when he had money he wouldn’t pay the child support, I used to nag him all the time to pay it (he has received a letter from the state and owes thousands).
I called his mom after everything happened and he went in the shower, his mom told me he used to give her the same excuse and it probably is just an excuse. And even if it isn’t an excuse, the fact that he has them around speaks volumes. He came down and flipped a **** that I was talking to his mom, it’s HIS mom and I’m NOT to talk to her/involve her… even though he called her and cried and told her what was going on 1 hour earlier. -For the record, she is an alcoholic/addict too, but she is a somewhat reasonable person.
He is so good at turning everything on me. I'm always the one apologizing.

Jinx: I have seen the papers, he has supervised visitation only on Sundays, but she went to the state and he owes thousands, he really has no legs to stand on at this point. He seems afraid of her and afraid to fight her because he doesn't want to legally lose the little amount of rights he has. It bothers me that he doesn't even want to go up to see him more often. We've gone twice in the 6 months we have been together, he doesn't even bother to ask, because he is afraid she will reject him and he will just end up disappointed or defeated.
How can he fight it without a lawyer?

Attthebeach: You got it absolutely right when you said “you never believe me.” That is EXACTLY what he says and exactly why our relationship is in his hands right now, it’s up to him if he wants to stay in this relationship knowing that I do not trust him right now and he feels like it will never be the same again. I don’t think that is the case, I know we could be happy, he was sober for the majority of our relationship, I only started becoming skeptical a month or 2 ago and I began finding things 1 month ago when he told me he screwed up. I know he wants to be clean; he just needs help and moral support to stay on track.
I agree that he should be held accountable to my family and I, he thinks trust should just be given to him because he treats me right, because he stays home with me all the time, and he doesn’t go anywhere without me. What’s scary is that all the syringes are in the house even though he IS with me all the time, minus when he drives to work. I feel like he should take a test once a week to prove he is sober if he really wants people to believe him in the house. However, he feels like if he needs to prove himself it will never work.
He is still in denial and going back and forth with going to meetings. I asked him this morning what he wants to do… If he wants to stay with me or if he wants to break up and leave. I told him we can go to meetings together or he can go to some alone if he wants, I will go to a therapist to work on myself (I have anxiety, no drug history) and we can both work on ourselves in order to get back to the good relationship we have. I do not want to consider living separately and staying in a relationship because I really will have no reason to trust him if he is out there in the world all the time given the present circumstance. He just feels like this is always going to be our life, I’m never going to trust him, my family is never going to trust him, and he is always going to be under a microscope. I know he is upset because this is probably the 5th time this is happening to him with a girlfriend, its nothing new, I wish he would realize it’s him and not the people around him who have a problem. My family and I are very forgiving and accepting people and I wish he would just do what is right and stay.

I know I need to be alright if he chooses to leave, but I don't see how that's possible.
Avatar universal
I feel like I'm betraying him just for posting in here :(
Avatar universal
Ok that speaks volumes.  I'm going to be brutally honest here -  girl you DO NOT need this at all.

1) his situation with his child tells all. Doesn't support him, doesn't care to see him. 2 times in 6 mos. then he acts all upset when she said he can't see him anymore for not paying. I thought he saw him regularly  

So - if you have a child with him, that is how it will be if you break up after. And if you are together you will be doing most of it anyways for the baby. From experience.

2) his addiction. He is manipulating you so much. You can't talk to his Mom. Sorry buddy. He won't take a test. If he was clean he would WANT to show you.  Bc he has the car he has opportunity. I had access to phone records on line so I could see the calls to buy when I was where you are.

You can suggest meetings counseling etc all you want. But he has to care and want it. You DON'T need to work on you for him.  It won't make things better. The fact that he is blaming you and making you feel guilty is all I need to hear here.

I hate to say it but it is not worth it. You haven't been youget her too long. Do you want this for how long you are together? For years????  I know they won't change unless they want to. No amount of asking will do it.

I'm do sorry you are hear. You aren't betraying him!! You are taking care of you. That is #1 important right now.
271792 tn?1334979657
Hi Honey, I didn't read all the responses because well..it is just too long. I apologize if I repeat someone.Why do you feel guilty? You should not feel any guilt or carry any shame. You didn't make him a drug addict and you can't get him clean. HE became an addict and HE..AND ONLY HE needs to want to get clean, ask for help and do it. If you force him he will fight you. You handed him a gift (treatment being paid for) and he rejected it. Is this the man you want to spend your life with? No offense but he didn't even pay child support and man up with his baby. What if you got pregnant..would you want a dead-beat drug addict as the father? I don't think you do.

It's time for you to take care of you. YOU are worth it and you need to get some self esteem back lady. Stand up for yourself. You deserve better. I pray it all works out for you.
Avatar universal
He is definitely manipulating me. I have been devastated all day because I don't want him to leave me partially because I know that means he isn't going to get the help he needs. Some of it is because we had a wonderful relationship up until a month ago when he messed up and I know its possible to get back to it if he is willing to put in the effort. He isn't completely lost or gone as far as drugs are concerned, but mentally he feels defeated, that nothing goes right for him and he wants to give up on his life basically.  

He told me this afternoon that he will do whatever I want him to do, but I know I need to mention that if its not what he wants then its pointless.
He keeps saying he doesn't know if he can live in the house anymore, with my parents being involved and he hopes I finally learned from this, to not involve anyone. It's like this big blow up is all a lesson for me to not over react or involve the family and has nothing to do with the fact that he's keeping needles in the house and has droopy eyes. It's insanity.

You're right it hasn't been long, we've only been living together for 6 months, knew each other for 2 months beforehand. But I love our life together and I'm not ready to lose it. I wish I wasn't so headstrong and determined sometimes.
Avatar universal
I feel guilty because instead of just asking him as a human being if he was doing anything, I freaked out and over reacted. I asked him to take a drug test, which I promised I would never do at the beginning of our relationship, but I feel like my actions are justified based on finding syringes in the house and his mood.

Avatar universal
No your not.

He asked you if you have learned your lesson to not involve outside people....?????  That is what living with an addict is about. Secrets and lies and covering up for him. Making excuses for his behavior.

Think of Khloe Kardashian. That will be you. And it will get worse. Emotional abuse.

If he doesn't like it there then he can go elsewhere. You can still be together. But he needs to get his act together. Sometimes it works. He realizes what he is losing. Your it will be my situation. He still continues to do it. But hides it and lies more.

I know you love what you had. But that is gone. It may never come back. How long will you wait?

He said he will do what is needed - figure out what that is - rehab meetings continued aftercare accountability then when he is clean couples counseling to rebuild your trust etc.  and until them you can't live together. It will give you a clearer head to be there and know what you need for yourself.

You deserve a wonderfulam and father who loves you and his children. A partner in life in all areas. A professional who can hold his own no matter the event. Had had requirements 1) have a job and go to it 2) be financially responsible by paying bills saving and not spending everything 3) treat me like a woman and partner 3) be addiction free.

Even after 10 years sober he fell off. I can't keep wondering worrying about what he is doing and how he will act if he goes someplace with me like a work event or wedding.

Take your time and think of what you want. If you want to try put your list on paper of what needs to be done. And what will happen if he continues to lie sneak and deny. It will take time to be sober but he has to be honest with you and be responsible for his actions. No more excuses and blaming you. He did this not you.

You can message me anytime you need too. Stay strong girl!!
Avatar universal
Thank you so much merri
1235186 tn?1549257619
Hun you don't want him to move out because you feel he won't get the help he needs. He isn't getting the help now either. You can't babysit him 24/7.
He doesn't have a license but you let him drive your car?
If he gets stopped you will be in trouble.
If he cops drugs in your car the car could get  enpounded.
He has plenty of opportunity to get drugs when he has your car and you are working.
If you can't take him to work then he needs to take a bus, train, can, walk.

Hun you are trying to fix him. You can't be has to fix himself.
I ask you to please re-read the thread.
Please let the advice sink in. You need to set up boundaries for him.
He doesn't set them for you. He is the addict. It is perfectl ok to talk with others about his addiction. As merri said they want you to keep their dirty little secret.
His dark deeds need to be exposed. He needs to be made uncomfortable.
He is too comfortable.
You are listening to him still saying it is your fault. He has this problem way before you came around. Please don't let him continue to manipulate you.
Or take advantage of you.

This things are not said to hurt you. We want to help you.
Lets say for his benefit he isn't really using anymore. You know he is an addict he told you. If he isn't working a recovery to stay clean then the chances are he isn't.
Addicts just can't stop using. They need to continually work their recovery to prevent relapse. Meetings, counseling, church, being open and transparent, accountable to those whom matter. Cleaning up the mess they made in active addiction, ie. making an effort to pay his chd support, get back his license, working toward a car.
It doesn't appear he is doing any of this.
You are not alone  in this. I am happy you are looking for answers and support.
Sending prayers,
Avatar universal
I keep questioning myself and asking if I should just walk away now. It's hard when every aspect of our relationship was great up until a month ago when he used something and now there's no trust. I don't know how much more either of us can take.
Avatar universal
The worst thing is when the trust is gone. I know that. It is very hard to get it back. Counseling and honesty works.

Tell him exactly how you feel. Then listen to him. But don't let him turn it on you. If he starts to blame say No this is not my fault. I didn't being syringes and drugs into our house and lives. You did.

If he is willing, figure out how to move forward with this. What you need from him and vice versa. If he gets and attitude etc then you know your answer.

Unfortunately it can't be what it was. But if he wants to do the work etc it can be something different and better. But honestly accountability and commitment is a must. It won't happen overnight. It is easy to fall into old habits.

Maybe a little time apart will help both of you clear your heads and decide what is best. Not every relationship will work. But you have to stay true to yourself. What is best for you? In the right relationship, that will sync for both if you. Remember the 1st 6 mos are usually bliss then life takes over. Is this life as you want it. That is the question with anyone.

You are doing good. It is not easy. Pros and cons and the future will give you answers.
Avatar universal
Merri once again you always have such wonderful answers. We have decided to move into an apartment away from the family and focus on work. We are going to start meetings this week. I'll keep you posted.  
God bless you
Avatar universal
That is great. I hope things work out well. And we are here to help you if you need.

One thing - meetings. Unless you are an addict, you can't attend any closed meetings. Only open ones. And to me the open ones in AA are great. They have speakers who are members or invited that tell their stories. You gain a lot of insight.

Just stay strong. And keep your eyes open. Listen to your gut. This is not your fault. It happened long before you knew him. It is his battle. Only he can win it. Some do. Many do not. And most struggle their whole lives.
Avatar universal
And don't isolate yourself fr your family and friends. You need them.

You can't keep secrets and deny forever. They know. Let them support you as well. If he recovers they will see that and think so much of him for it.
Avatar universal
I'm definitely going to be getting back to me and my friends this week. I lost my job the other day so I have free time and I am going to show the people who I have somewhat abandoned that they do matter so much and I just got lost in my own business
1235186 tn?1549257619
Hun maybe it's none of my business but if you lost your job and he isn't working as much how can you afford an apartment?

He needs to attend NA/AA meetings and you should attend al-anon meetings,they are for the loved ones. There you will learn how not to enable, how to set up boundaries, to realize that you can't fix him, it is support for you.
What changed in the last few days to now getting your own apartment?
You had mentioned walking away.

I just don't want you to be pulled further into his addiction with him.
I am glad you will be seeing your friends this week.
Just concerned.

A little story, my daughter meet a guy about 3 years ago. She eventually told me he was using opiates. I told her to get far away from him. She didn't heed my warning, she thought she was smarter. She was going to help him get clean. Well they moved in together and what happened? Instead of her helping him, she was dragged right into the pit with him. One night why don't you try some, she took a small amount of a pill, threw up and then tried again another night. She eventually was so bound by the roxys. She wanted to come home. She stole from us, she continued to use. We were fighting.
We kicked her out. Her roxy addiction lasted two years. They went into a store stole for their habit, were arrested. They were selling pills, they were arrested. She was in jail two different times for a week. She finally wanted to get clean.She went to a year long Christian program. She has now been clean for two years. She is still trying to clean up the mess she made of her life in the courts. She is facing two felony charges.
My daughter is a gorgeous woman, smart,intelligent, compassionate, always wanting to help. She fell into Satan's trap.
It happens very often, the person trying to help gets pulled down.

Please be very careful.
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A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.