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Addiction to Drugs/ex-bf/good friend addicted to pain killers

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Question
I entered into a relationship with this really amazing guy. We were best friends and had this amazing relationship. We really wanted to get married and spend the rest of our lives together.

Soon things changed. He became more distant and it seemed like he was always feeling down. He was always sick and told me the reason he was sick was because he may of just been worrying too much which wasn't exactly truthful. He later admits to me he has an addiction to pain killer drugs. He said he had been on and off for years and had recently went back to it since a lot of tough things had been going on.. his brother attempted suicide and his parents were going through a tough divorce.

He told me I couldn't put my life on hold for him. That I needed to date other people. He said he loved me and he felt to really love me he needed to be done with his addiction and let me go for now. He said he is going to do some work so that in the future he might be able to be with me again.

My question is how long will it be before he is ready for a relationship again in your opinion?

I told him I would always be there for him. We agreed for being friends and would text here and there. Recently we stopped talking because it just become too hard. We still have all of these feelings for each other so it is hard to just be friends.

Sorry that was a lot of information. I also realize you may be no relationship coach but I also wonder what role can I best play to help him? Do I back out of his life or stay as a supportive friend in contact?

Thanks,
Bri

Answer
Hi Bri,
Watching someone you love struggle with addiction is so difficult. If you choose to remain a supportive friend my suggestion would be to seek out an al-anon group in your area. These free support groups are for the friends and family of those suffering with addition. Learning how to support him while balancing that with boundaries can be very tricky. You can find These groups by searching alanon.org
To answer your question regarding time, it is generally believed that some one in recovery avoid relationships until they have achieved at least a year of sobriety and is actively involved in a recovery program.
I hope this was helpful to you.
Sherrie

Addiction to Drugs

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Sherrie Sweet

Expertise

I am qualified to answer questions in all areas of addiction and recovery. If you have a question that I can not answer, I am not afraid to tell you that I do not know, however, I am willing to help you find the answer. I am qualified to assist you with questions asked by the individual who is using drugs or alcohol, as well as questions from concerned friends and family members. I understand the stigmas of this disease and the difficult issues that arise from substance use. I am here to offer guidance and support.

Experience

I have worked in the field of substance abuse for 20 years. I have experience working in the areas of inpatient detoxification, outpatient counseling, halfway houses, self help groups, individual, marital and family counseling, drunken driving education, pregnant and parenting programs, and medication assisted treatment. Additionally, I have a strong background in medical issues, psychopharmacology and mental health issues. I believe in individualized treatment which meets the specific needs of each person suffering from the disease of addiction.

Education/Credentials
I currently hold a Masters Degree in Human Services/Psychology. I am also continuing with a PhD in Counseling Psychology. I am internationally certified as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, and licensed as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I am additionally pursuing the credential of a Substance Abuse Professional which will allow me to work with and evaluate individuals who are employed within the D.O.T. system. Lastly, I am a partner in private practice working with individuals who are seeking recovery from addictive disorders.

Past/Present Clients
I have extensive experience working with individuals from all walks of life. I have worked with professionals, community leaders, NFL players, police officers, lawyers, nurses, homeless individuals, the indigent, doctors, and attorneys.

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