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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

When is it considered abuse?

I'm going to try to summarize what's going on without writing an entire book. I've been dating my partner for about a year and a half now. I've always known my partner would occasionally use prescription drugs, but I was never convinced he was abusing them until recently. He has been taking xanax daily (unprescribed) for the past couple of years and to my knowledge only takes norco/vicodin (unprescribed) when he has to work or is in pain. He has never been prescribed either of these drugs, as he is uninsured. A family who does not use their xanax gives my boyfriend open access to their monthly prescription. I don't think he ever took more than 2 in a day (one to last the day, and then one to sleep as needed). Also, I'm not a doctor, but it is clear he suffers from anxiety, so I never questioned whether or not he should be taking xanax to control his anxiety. On the other hand I have noticed is really keen on taking norco. The family member who supply's the xanax, also shares their x3 a day norco prescription with my boyfriend. It is not that the family member willingly supply's the norcos, but my boyfriend frequently asks for them, sometimes running out before the end of the month and than scrambling to find someone to buy some from. I used to never notice before, but now I can always tell when the family member gets their rx filled. My boyfriend will act different for a few days: hyper, gets intoxicated super easily, happy, egocentric etc. Then shortly after he becomes really irritable and mean, stops showering, doesn't really leave the bed, and won't even get up to let the dog outside to use the bathroom. I suspect that these are the days he goes without taking norco, but I'm unclear.
It's a really tricky situation. I love him, but growing up with a mother who went to prison for selling drugs leave a bad taste in my mouth. I hate drugs because I see how they have ruined so many lives. I wish to help him, but I don't know how to talk to him. When I ask him about his drug use he becomes offended and upset and reassures my that he has anxiety, back pain, and "taking norco makes work more tolerable". I know the family member who supply's the drugs cares deeply about my partner, and probably wants the best for him, but is blind to the affect of supplying him with drugs. I have thought about talking to this family member, but I feel as it not my business. I used to not my boyfriend's drinking, gambling, and occasional drug use get to me, but after a year and a half I have grown tired. There is so much more to this story, but I guess I came here to ask if I'm dealing with an actual addiction or just frequent use? What can I do? I love him tremendously and I would give my life to change his, but I cannot even get him to acknowledge that he might "sometimes" abuse drugs. It almost seems as if my best option is to walk out of his life and continue my own.
4 Responses
1926359 tn?1331591739
Welcome my dear.  You are indeed living with an addict....And it will only get worse.  I'm sorry, I understand how painful this is.  The very best and really, the ONLY thing you can do is take care of yourself.  If you want to remain in this relationship you must confront him about his drug use with VERY strong boundaries about what you will do if he does not get clean.  You will find amazing support at Alanon or NarAnon.  You can also post on the Living with an Addict Forum here on MH (where I suspect this post will get moved to)

You can only live YOUR life as you said.  You will not be able to change or control his behaviour, only the choices that YOU make in regards to how you react.  It is truly hard, but you are only feeding his addiction by turning a blind eye.  And soon, you will become just as sick from his addiction as he is.

There is no way to have a healthy relationship with someone that is caught in active addiction.  He is going to have to get good and honest with himself and those he loves and do some real recovery work before any relationship is possible.
I know where you are coming from...And sadly I have been on both sides of the coin as the co-dependent and the addict.  You can only take good care of yourself....The rest takes care of itself.
Hugs,
Lu
Avatar universal
Hi, there. I 2nd what Lulu wrote.

The way you described his your euphoria w/ drugs and irritability and laziness w/o reminds me of the bad old days. Yes, he is an addict. Addicts lie. We minimize and justify our usage. Trust YOUR instincts not his words.

Like Lulu said, this will only get worse for you. Honestly, that doesn't sound like much of a relationship and you deserve a partner you can trust. What you can do right now is look up Alanon and go. The whole reason that exists is for folks who are baffled and fed up w/ someone's addiction.

I wish you luck and please, if I could get across only one point to you, it's this: living w/ an active addict is like living on a sinking ship. Your partner may not care if he drowns but this is YOUR life. Do you wanna go down w/ him?
11989475 tn?1432907085
I have to agree with the comments listed, behaves like an addict.  What worries me is that no physician of any kind is monitoring him! Scary, self medicating and self diagnosing...never a good idea.  Maybe by sharing some information about the dangers of this type of prescription medication you can educate the family members, hopefully they will realize they are not doing him any favors.
Signs of Addiction
It can be a long road to recover and get the meds out of someone system, and everyone reacts different.  Read all you can and create a family plan and a friends and family support group.  He will need friends who can be understanding and tell him to hang in there.
Avatar universal
I also have to agree with all of the above comments and those of us who are addicts, can recognize the actions. If he were just using "recreationally" it would be every once in a while and then he'd be fine. But sounds like he's becoming dependent on them.
I would have a talk with the family member who is supplying them and let them know you're concerned that it maybe becoming an addiction.
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