Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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17742420 tn?1459773821

My boyfriend admitted to taking painkillers "to deal with stress" What now?

Hi, I am new here. I posted a similar question, but I need more answers. When I tell him that he has an addiction problem (I read a lot about it) he simply insists that I know nothing about drugs since I've never done any. So I need you to tell me how you got into them and whether his story sounds like it is only going to get worse. I considered to move halfway across the world, away from my friends and family, but now I think about ending the relationship. Here's the story:

We met almost two years ago. Since I haven't used drugs it never occurred to me that what he was going through was withdrawal. He couldn't get the pills in that country. He admitted to taking them occasionally right then, but they way he spoke, I thought all that was left far behind him. He was a working university student, an intelligent person who was able to travel the world. He probably didn't take them for a while after he got home. He gained a little weight, but the next time we saw each other he seemed normal, didn't hide facts about his financial situation.

However, it had been half a year since I saw him last in person (he claimed he couldn't visit me earlier due to financial problems which according to my calculations he shouldn't have had - he worked, he got financial support from his parents, and half the rent was covered by the roommate.) This was rather strange to me, but I chose to believe him. I asked him numerous times through conversation whether he is tempted to get those pills still and he answer that he didn't know anybody he could get them from where he lives even if he wanted to. BUT, he visited a while back and through his texts I found out that he still takes them and has a supplier that I've never heard of. He refused to let me read the texts because "he might've asked for them more often than he could get them" and he claimed it was to deal with stress when we fought or school or work. He has very bad stress tolerance, tries to avoid fights all the time and his initial response when we fight is not to solve the problem, but to get away from the situation. For the past year he would always nod off on the camera, spend a lot of time in the bathroom due to constipation and be very secretive about his money. He has genetic predisposition for addiction - one of his parents had a bad drinking and gambling problem, but he still refuses to get help. He keeps saying he is done for real and that it didn't matter if he took some pills here and there, that I was making the problem bigger than it was. He also told me he got introduced to the pills when he broke a limb around 7-8 years ago and at the time he liked the pills and he was just a kid, didn't know that they were bad since the doctor gave them to him.

Now my question is- should I panic? Can he just stop or this is going to evolve until it gets worse? He claims he doesn't need help and I know that my love and concern can't "cure" him. Is it better that I just walk away from this relationship now rather than later? He was honest about smoking weed occasionally and drinking, but we would spend weeks and months at a time where he wouldn't do any of these things and be fine, fun, loving boyfriend. We've traveled the world together and been through a lot. He also maintains a job and is an excellent university student. Could it be possible that he really has it under control? Please share your stories and thoughts, I have no one else I could talk to.
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Miriam, I've read all your posts so far. You need to go to alanon ASAP. You are completely enmeshed and over analyzing this. You will learn in alanon how to calm down and not focus so much on what the addict is doing or not doing. You will learn why you choose the people you do and how to put the focus back where it belongs, on your life.
Yes, that's true. I am questioning his every move and wondering what will the next lie be and when he will next get pills. He is annoyed, I am annoyed and can't focus on myself. Too much of my life revolves around our relationship. Don't know whether I've mentioned, but we've done great sacrifices to be together. I just don't understand what's happening now.
4522800 tn?1470325834
Hi Again!
I agree with jifmoc. It would not hurt you at all if you look all of this up like I suggest either. However, only HE is the one who has to do the admitting that he has a problem. If he keeps doing drugs it will only get worse! If HE can stop now and look ahead for a Great Future, drug free then that would be the fist step. The detox off of pills is over and then the work begins. Using for ANY reason at all is Addictive behavior besides what they are prescribed for and used as prescribed for pain if it is pain pills too.
It does seem like you did get some communication going, but as Addicts sometimes we will lie to cover our ash! We can not tell from here how deep he is into it, but I can say that the grass can be greener on the other side. For me there are so many reason that I stay clean, as far as my Health at my age mostly too. Also we reach a point where we are just sick of being sick. I wish YOU the best! Just know that when we use off & on it can lead to wanting or needing more & more. No looking back unless he gets some kind of Support going for his Addiction.
Take care of YOU always!!
Thanks Vickie. This is new to me - I just can't understand why and how I am in the middle of a situation where a person I love is struggling with such addiction. I know it can happen to anyone, but this is a shock I don't know how to deal with.
1796826 tn?1578874779
Just wanted to comment on the last paragraph you wrote. No, it's not possible that he has it under control. I had a serious, serious addiction to pain pills and never stopped holding down a good job and being a decent partner and parent. But addiction to opiates is a progressive syndrome. Over the years, it ate more and more of my life, gradually lowering the quality of my work and my family contributions. This is inevitable for every opiate addict. No exceptions.

He's already lying to you and being deceptive on a regular basis, which is not part of a healthy relationship. And I can 100% guarantee that things will get worse, not better, if he continues to use pills. Even if he had seen the light and wanted to quit, he'd have an uphill battle re-earning the trust that's been lost. If he's still in the denial phase of addiction, you can expect your trust to be abused. That's just how it works. Unless you hear him proclaiming loudly and clearly that he's an addict and wants to quit, you need to think about walking away. Also - there are some really good books out there around addiction, I highly recommend reading one or two to give yourself a better understanding of his situation and mindset.
Thanks for your answer Ben. That's what I try to tell him, but he says he's okay and that he doesn't have a problem. I tell him it's denial (I already read a lot about the whole thing), but he claims next time he feels like taking them he'll talk to someone. The progressive aspect of the whole addiction is what I am worried about. I try to tell him where he'll end up if he fails to control it and that he is not an exception, but all he does is accuses me of painting a hopeless picture for him. I guess being successful in school, having a relationship, a job, and being able to travel greatly contribute to his delusion.

So, what he does is say that he wants to quit them, that he can, and he is not an addict. He is not ready to realize it's a life-long battle although his mom fought until recently two similar ones. Knowing him, he likes to ignore the problems until they require immediate solving. And he'll ignore this as long as he can.

Could you point out some signs I should look for that could indicate he stopped using them? He said he deleted the number of the person he gets them from and told them he doesn't want them anymore.
242912 tn?1402543492
I see you have two threads going.  Try to stick to one, it's easier for everyone to keep up with you. :)

Great advice from Ben!!  Vic and Jif, too!  

Alanon, Miriam, Alanon!  

Read and reread the answers you've received here if nothing else.  All are pointing you in the right direction, Sweetheart.
Thanks Jade, I'll for sure check it out! Great advice from all of you, you have been very helpful to me in the past few days, I greatly appreciate taking the time to talk about this issue with me.
Thanks Jade, I'll for sure check it out! Great advice from all of you, you have been very helpful to me in the past few days, I greatly appreciate taking the time to talk about this issue with me.
Avatar universal
He is abusing these meds and possibly has an addiction. Sounds like his money is going to support his habit and he has been untruthful to you, He needs to take responsibility for this. You did not cause him to take them. Pain killers are not prescribed for stress but anti-depressents and anti-anxiety meds are. He doesn't want these cause they won't get him high.The constipation could be from high use of narcotics. Doesn't sound like he is being honest with you or himself and makes excuses, refuses help cause he doesn't want to quit. You would do yourself great justice to find someone who does not have a drug problem
Avatar universal
Your man is an addict. He lies, deceives, denies and hides his use. Whatever he admitted to, you can be sure there is much more you don't know about. It is especially easy for him since you two live so far apart. Unfortunately, the drugs mean more to an addict than any person, place or dreams for the future.  You two are very different. Break it off and find someone straight who will put you first and treat you properly.
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