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Substance Use Whether you are combating substance abuse, are in search support, or have questions about drugs or alcohol, ask in this forum.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Once a user always a user? - May 25th 2011, 12:35 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of substance use, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Ok so I don't think I've ever posted in this forum before. That's because I have never had anything to do with any sort of drug what so ever. Well, it still hasn't changed, but I just got into a relationship with someone who has a very long past with drugs.

I'm sure this is only a very little piece of it because I've only been going out with him for about two weeks but this is what he's told me so far. Ever since seventh grade he has been smoking. He mentioned he used to shoot up, he mentioned like a ton of drugs if I can remember them all he said coke, meth, heroine, pot, acid, and some other stuff too. He is only 17. My age. I know he's had a rough past but he said he has been clean since last school year. I told him I was very proud of him for that and I am. Now, this is only like my second real relationship so I honestly have no experience whatsoever. He fell for me so fast and so hard it's crazy. I stopped by his house today to say hi, he ended up in my car for like half an hour just hugging me and talking, right outside his house. I litterally had to be like "Leave now so you don't get in more trouble" Anyway, so he has dwindled down from all those hard ass drugs to cigarettes. He told me the only thing that stopped him was when he watched his friend die from a herione overdose. He told me he even shot his friend up because his friend was too wacked to do it himself. "I killed him" he told me.

So he is like absolutely in love with me. I like him a lot too. But I have no experience with this type of stuff. I've talked to him about seeing people he said he already does and stuff but anyway, my main question is, do most people resort back to drugs? Like now I'm terrified if anything happens between us he'll kill himself or start the hard stuff again. Even if we are fine, he has a crappy home life so like do I have to worry about him starting drugs again? I am not going to be anywhere near him if he does anything related to drugs period. I'm not getting into any of that business. His friends from his old town are all druggies and come to his house high and so far he has kicked them all out but how do I know he will keep doing that?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.


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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 26th 2011, 07:58 AM

Well Alessa, when someone is hooked on a drug and they drop it they look for something to fill the gap that the drug used to fill. Whether it be cigarettes, gum, video games, or a relationship. This could also explain why he fell for you so quickly (Not saying that your relationship isn't legitimate or anything like that), because he was eager to be distracted from his old habits, and fill his heart and mind with a new one, something better in this case. The only way to know whether or not he will relapse is to wait and watch and listen. You might also be interested in becoming more involved or at least learning some more about what it is that he's doing to help himself. I don't believe that once you use you're always a user, but it is important to keep up with self help and to have a strong support system. I don't know your boyfriend, so I can't tell you what's gonna happen next. Make sure to just keep a keen eye on his activities and the way he acts around you and other people and you should notice if anything starts to go sour. I sure do hope that he stays clean like he says he will and that you have a great a long lasting relationship. Hope my advice could be of some use to you.
   
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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 26th 2011, 08:32 AM

One can be "clean" and never go back on the drug, however, the biggest issue after not using the drug for some time is addressing the social aspects. Something motivated him to try drugs in the first place and keep moving to "harder" drugs. Whatever this is, it has to be addressed, otherwise, it's like a hanging boulder waiting to fall once the time is right. For example, when someone is put into a drug rehabilitation program, it usually lasts for up to 1 month (which is not the best time to be released from the program because of neurobiological and pharmacological babble I'll leave out unless you're truly interested). However, where are they released to? Straight back to the same social settings they were in while using the drugs and the strains and pressures that were there before are almost always still there.

Some people are able to quit forever on their first attempt, although this varies by drug and isn't common. Often times people may relapse but eventually quit. Alternatively, they do what your boyfriend has done: stopped using certain drugs in place of another drug, cigarettes. A concern is he is doing so because he wants to quit drug usage but to ease the fall, he weans himself onto other drugs. The question becomes whether he'll stop cigarette usage and all subsequent drug usage or whether he'll stop cigarette usage and use another drug, ideally one that continues to ease the landing. If he keeps using it without a desire to quit, it's not healthy for him at all.

In the end, there's no way to know if he'll relapse until it happens. All you can do is prepare yourself if it does happen and figure out a strategy ahead of time to help him. You can try having him talk about the social pressures when he used the other drugs because it may still be looming in his mind and the drugs may serve to temporarily remove those memories and feelings.


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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 26th 2011, 05:55 PM

Thanks so much both of your advice really helped. I've been trying to talk him into getting more help and so far he's done okay. He started seeing the counselor at our school and yesturday he was flipping out so I made him call a professional he talks to. It's mostly his dad whose a recovering alcoholic plus he still keeps in contact with his stoner friends. I know he's not going to be perfect, he is just still having a rough times and seems to get very upset over little things. Thanks again


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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 26th 2011, 10:34 PM

From my own experience with pot and cigarettes, whether I go back or not all depends on my willpower. Personally, I have ZERO ability to avoid peer pressure when it comes to cigarettes, but I've found I can refuse pot from even my best friend. It all depends on the person. Is your boyfriend strong-willed? While it is true that a lot of people do relapse (I've gone back to pot and cigs more than once, clean now), there are also a lot of people who quit and stay clean. Also, time helps a lot too. A month ago, I woulda paid good money for a cig in a heartbeat. Now, I won't even take a free one. I guess what it all comes down to is your bfs willpower.


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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 27th 2011, 01:21 AM

He says he will never touch any of it again. I know it's easy for him to say that though. But then again he did watch his friend die right in front of him. I told him I have no leanance when it comes to that stuff so he knows if I found out about him doing any of it again I'm gone.


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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 27th 2011, 01:34 AM

It's good to hear that he's taking further action to help himself. It sounds like you have a genuine relationship and I'm glad for you. I wish you the best of luck.
   
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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 27th 2011, 09:02 AM

Seeing his friend die in front of him may have helped him quit, however, there's a chance with such events that he may be re-imagining it over and over. The drugs that used to relieve social pressures are gone so if he uses again and you leave him, chances are he'll be screwed. I'm not trying to guilt you into staying with him, that's your business but if he ever mentions seeing his friend die has harmed him, then I think you'd need to be a crutch for him in place of his drugs.


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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 27th 2011, 06:25 PM

Well most people who do drugs or have done them feel guilt about doing the drugs, and to get rid of that guilt they do more drugs and it ends up as a cycle. However if he has stayed clean for a year long period, and if you really do support him, I don't see why he would go back to drugs.

However if he feels guilt about his friend's death, it could very easily make him resort back to drugs. It was a really stupid thing to do. If someone can't even inject themselves why the hell would he inject them for them? However I promise he knows how utterly moronic he was, and I could assume he was high as a kite at the time as well. It was a bad thing to have happen, but this probably will keep him away from drugs rather than closer to them.

And you know what, it's good you support him but no drugs. You should leave him if he goes back. You should not sacrifice yourself out of guilt or fear.

Also, you mentioned being worried about him comitting suicide or going back to drugs should you break up, there are hotlines, or even 911 to help him. If you are ever worried about him, the police will not be angry for contacting them. Police are NEVER angry if you contact them. It keeps the community involved and makes the justice system work so much better. And even if he did resort back to drugs, it really wouldn't be your fault. If he had never done drugs you wouldn't have worried that a break up would push someone to do them, and if he's serious about stopping it shouldn't be an issue.

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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 29th 2011, 02:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Man And XX Master View Post
Seeing his friend die in front of him may have helped him quit, however, there's a chance with such events that he may be re-imagining it over and over. The drugs that used to relieve social pressures are gone so if he uses again and you leave him, chances are he'll be screwed. I'm not trying to guilt you into staying with him, that's your business but if he ever mentions seeing his friend die has harmed him, then I think you'd need to be a crutch for him in place of his drugs.
So what are you saying? Like is he just using me? Or should I not break up with him? I'm not offended or anything I just don't understand what you are trying to say.


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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 29th 2011, 03:28 AM

Alessa: If I may speak for The Man and XX Master...

He is using you, but not in a bad way. Like if you had a bad day and tell your mom about it, you are using her, but not negatively.

To have a positive thing in his life besides drugs I likely helping him, and that positive thing is you.

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Re: Once a user always a user? - May 31st 2011, 06:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessa (>**)> View Post

So what are you saying? Like is he just using me? Or should I not break up with him? I'm not offended or anything I just don't understand what you are trying to say.
In simpler terms which Justin mentioned, yes, he is using you, however, "using people" is not necessarily a negative action. He is "using" you in a positive way: to gain strength so he can continue without using drugs. You are "using" him to have a better understanding from first-hand experience about the effect of drugs and their intervention.

I'm not addressing whether you should break up with him because it's your option and yours only. Currently, there seems to be no strain in the relationship so if you did break up, it would be unfounded. As a good example, suppose he got drunk, came home and kicked the living shit out of you, breaking your tibia, humerus and knocking out 4 front teeth. Breaking up from that would be founded because he poses a risk to continue staying with. As it stands, you said he's getting better, hasn't been violent, aggressive or hostile to you nor himself in any way.


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Re: Once a user always a user? - June 1st 2011, 10:43 PM

Well I'm never with him alone. We are always around either his parents or my parents so I never have feared for my safety.


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Re: Once a user always a user? - June 4th 2011, 02:52 AM

I believe that he is trying to stay away from the drugs once and for all. He has the motivation to do it, and that's the hardest part. All I can say is to support him fully and help him take his mind of it. It's a mental addiction, after all. From what I have read, it seems that he is leaning on you. Just be there for him.


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