Drug addiction affects not only the addict but the partners and loved ones of the addict as well.
Drug addiction is a problem that affects millions of people all over the world. If your partner is a drug addict chances are you feel for them and want to help them get support. Dating a drug addict is challenging and requires additional support.
Are you dating an addict? Do you feel like it is time that you abandoned the relationship and looked elsewhere? Do you feel like you are not getting anything out of the relationship? Well, you’re not alone. Contrary to common perceptions and beliefs, addicts need care and attention as opposed to neglect and negotiations, which is the case for most of us. Rather than thinking about how you can get out of the relationship, you need to be trying to find out ways through which you can help your drug addict partner to get the support and recovery they need.
What should you do when dating a drug addict?
If you’re dating a drug addict, you need to understand that you are not alone. There are many other men and women in a relationship with people who experiencing the same confusion and struggle. Again, you need to note that addicts need our care, affection and love. Sometimes tough love.
How can you help your drug addict partner in such a case?
There are many ways through which you can be of help to your partner if they have a substance use disorder.
- Talk to them and see if they’re willing to seek treatment. This can be a hard task to undertake considering that most drug addicts can be hostile to the idea. Many individuals find the conversation about addiction painful and emotionally charged. Seeking professional mediation or intervention can be helpful to sort through those feelings.
- Finding a rehab center or facility for your partner is an option that you might want to consider. When you’re dating an addict, you need to make sure they get the best psychological and medical support that they need. Since in most instances you might not be able to offer these services, it’s good to try and find a rehabilitation facility.
- A bit of counseling is also required in the process of helping a drug addict. Counseling actually helps to change the mindset of the addict. Through counseling, millions of addicts have been able to change their ways for the better. Counseling is vital both before and after going through the rehabilitation facility.
- Seek help for yourself and for you as a couple. Addiction not only affects the addict it’s a disease that affects everyone in its vicinity. Especially relationships.
What You Should Know If You Are Dating a Heroin Addict
An actor known for possessing a talent for creating memorable, on-screen characters, Philip Seymour Hoffman appeared to have it all — fame, money, prestige and a promising film career — until his lifeless body was found on his bathroom floor in New York City in 2014.
Reports quickly surfaced that Hoffman had died from a heroin overdose. Police later stated they had discovered several bags of heroin scattered throughout the actor’s apartment. Allegations that Hoffman had admitted he had been on a “heroin binge” for the past few weeks later emerged on social media networks.
Many of us also learned for the first time that heroin addiction is rampant across the U.S., affecting everyone from successful actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman to acquaintances and family members we have known for years but never suspected of being heroin addicts. Heroin is currently a silent epidemic that not only destroys — it kills.
Self-Treating a Heroin Addiction Won’t Work
If you are dating a heroin addict, Hoffman’s story probably mirrors the story of your relationship.
Hoffman evidently tried to kick his heroin habit alone several times in the past but was never successful. Without getting the professional help and support he needed to manage cravings and cope with relapse, Hoffman eventually lost his life fighting a losing battle against heroin addiction.
The psychological and physical dependence Hoffman developed on heroin is one of the most insidious dependencies anyone could suffer. Heroin doesn’t just want a portion of you — it wants your body, your mind, your soul and your life.
Whenever Hoffman tried to wean himself off heroin, he undoubtedly experienced severe withdrawal symptoms within 48 hours of his last fix — nausea and vomiting, profuse sweating, joint aches and pains, fever and sinus congestion. His brain was also as desperate as his body for heroin after repeatedly experiencing the euphoria of “feel-good” chemicals. He likely felt depressed, irritable and frantic.
Successfully overcoming a heroin addiction requires three things of a heroin addict: that they enter a rehabilitation program, complete a medical detoxification and receive professional addiction therapy to learn how to manage their addiction.
With the help of caring, committed people working at JourneyPure Emerald Coast, Philip Seymour Hoffman could have defeated his addiction, continued inspiring film audiences and lived a full, productive life — if only he had taken that first step toward recovery.
Are You Dating an Addict in Denial?
Some drug addicts have strong, nonconforming personalities that clash with the expectations of societal norms. To them, conformity does not allow for individuality, and it might lead to dissatisfaction with being forced to accept responsibilities. Consequently, they may use their own distorted views of how “life and people treat them” to justify using heroin and behaving irresponsibility. Denying responsibility is also a form of manipulation, a psychological tool that most addicts are expert at using to get the kind of sympathetic attention they want from others.
Heroin addicts refuse to think about how their addiction is affecting those who care about them because the depth of their addiction disrupts normal thinking patterns. Failing to acknowledge the consequences of their addiction helps them avoid the guilt and sorrow they feel deep within themselves. Although your significant other may appear apathetic to the heartache they are causing you and other loved ones, they are unconsciously relying on a psychological defense mechanism they truly have no idea they are using.
How Do You Know You May Be Dating a Heroin Addict?
Signs that someone may be addicted to heroin include:
- Bloodshot eyes not attributed to other medical or environmental conditions
- Unusual pupil size (smaller or larger than normal)
- Frequent nosebleeds (also a sign of a cocaine or meth user)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Disrupted sleep patterns (insomnia or hypersomnia)
- Lack of attention to personal grooming (wearing the same clothes for days, not brushing teeth, etc.)
- Slurred, incoherent speech when no odor of alcohol is detected
- Inability to access the drug produces painful withdrawal symptoms in the addict (typically occurs within hours of experiencing their last “high”)
- Disappearing for hours or days at a time with no good explanation for the absence
- Hanging around “new” friends — such as addicts and known drug dealers
- Being found with needles, spoons, small pieces of foil and other paraphernalia on their person
If your significant other is arrested for heroin possession, be aware that addicts will tell loved ones exactly what they want to hear just to get out of jail. Once bail is posted and the addict is released, nothing will change. They won’t enter a treatment program, and they won’t honor their promise to stop using on their own. If you stage an intervention to try to help a heroin addict and they refuse the help, you will probably be warned by the interventionist not to believe anything the addict says when caught in a dire situation, such as jail or living on the streets. Wavering from a “tough love” stance by helping the addict means you are essentially giving the addict their next heroin fix.
Can Heroin Addicts Be Forced Into a Recovery Program?
Florida has a law called the Marchman Act that allows the family of an addict to lawfully place the individual in a recovery program without consent of the addict. Although interventions should always be used as a first choice when attempting to help an addict, the Marchman Act is sometimes used as a threat in particularly serious situations when addicts appear to be resisting an intervention.
The Marchman Act should only be used as a last ditch effort because it does contain several disadvantages to its implementation, such as:
- It can take as long as two weeks for the court to initiate the action.
- The addict is allowed to hire a public defender who may possibly get the case dismissed.
- The addict must be served with papers, meaning they must have a valid address.
- The addict may not receive the level of care needed to provide appropriately indicated treatment.
If you are dating a drug addict or think you may in a relationship with someone who abuses heroin, call JourneyPure Emerald Coast today at (800) 493-5253. Find out the information you need to get help for yourself and for your significant other.