Hopingthebest

Concerned and lost. Boyfriend of an addict.

22 posts in this topic

I see a lot of stories from recovering Adderall users, but my case is different and has resulted in unhelpful advice from people unfamiliar with the side effects, addictive qualities, and general nature of the drug. I am reaching out to this community for your help and advice in this difficult time.

I am currently dating an Adderall addict. She is 24 years old, smart, a perfectionist, and we are extremely serious in spending our lives together. I know that for the past year she has been using, and possibly for longer than that. I would like for her to live a healthy life, especially by stopping the side effects of the drug.

She has tried to work with me and deal with my questions, but ultimately she consistently lies about stopping her usage.

She dodges certain questions, and accuses me of being presumptuous when trying to talk to her about buying/using Adderall. Her logic seems to be, if I do not see her physically consuming the pill, then how do I know she is actually taking Adderall.

I do not know where to turn as my methods for finding the truth become more invasive. I know when she uses, when she buys, who she buys from, etc. But now, I can hardly confront her anymore due to the extreme disappointment of her breaking the trust in our relationship and her determination not to quit or seek help.

In the end, the lying is what is tearing me apart… As long as she continues that, I do not know how to help or approach her.

I want to do everything I can for her, but I have reached a dead end. I will not give up, despite everyone’s advice to leave her. Please help with any advice you have on approaching this situation.

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I was in your girlfriend's shoes at age 24, however my boyfriend really didn't know about the adderall, just that I was acting crazy. I wish I could tell you you could help her. It's great that you're so supportive and care about her so much, but there really is nothing you can do until she decides she has a problem. Addiction often leads to manipulation and lying. It changes who a person is in every aspect. Take it from someone who was getting a prescription and buying from dealers every month.....that screams addict, and while it's not my place to judge if someone is an addict or not, you know deep down the truth. It's your decision to stay or go, just as it's hers and only her decision to quit. It breaks my heart for people who love and care about addicts, because you must feel so helpless. I wish I could give you more positive feedback. Maybe others on here have a different perspective?

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Thank you for your reply. I can't tell you how good it feels to talk to people in an un-hypothetical sense.

The helplessness is definitely hard. The manipulation and lying make it even harder. I am not sure if she is lying because she doesn't want to admit to what she is doing or if she doesn't want me to be completely a part of her life. I feel as if I constantly need to find avenues to confront her because I know what's going on. Mood swings, acne, and hair loss are all too familiar a plague that is harming the woman I love. But knowing that lies are around the corner, it gets frustrating, especially thinking the alternative is just to wait and act as if she's not hurting herself.

Any advice with handling this is greatly appreciated.

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Most lies are told for protection. Her lies protect her from your scorn and concern about her addiction. Her lies protect you (so she thinks) from the drug addict and her addictive behavior and wierdness associated with adderall abuse. Addiction and lies go together like mashed potatoes and gravy. So it will be fairly easy to forgive her for all of her addiction-related lies she tells you, once they stop. Problem is, the lies won't stop until she quits using the drug. I admire your dedication to this relationship, no matter what. It is great practice for the "better or worse, sickness or health" part of a marriage commitment.

If you choose not to confront her about her addiction, she will think she is fooling you. And you will have to suffer through the hell of addiction along with her as her main supporter and enabler. If you choose to address the issue every time she is tweaked out, your relationship will be in a constant state of arguement and denial. Ignoring an addiction in hopes that it will just go away usually does not have a good outcome for all parties involved.

I suggest you resolve not to be around her (phone calls too) while she is high on adderall. If you don't want the confrontation, then tell some whopper lies of your own to get away and do your own thing, unless you enjoy being in the presence of an addict in denial of their own addiction.

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I feel for you and wish I could give you a HUGE hug!

Here is a link to an updated version of the classic - Codependent No More by Melody Beatty - one of the best books I've ever read on the subject.

http://www.amazon.co... melody beattie

Also check out al-anon & nar-anon online and if you really want to feel the love and see that you are not alone in what you are going through, check out a meeting. Drug of choice is irrelevant when you are caught up in the cycle of caring about someone who you think is addicted.

I agree with the tough-love approach, she's not going to give it up until she comes to the realization that the drug is doing (A LOT) more harm than good. In the mean time, it wouldn't hurt to have her read some of the articles on this site. A lot of people identify so strongly with the stories people post this can expedite the quitting process. Either way we are here!

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Thanks again for the responses.

Lea, I will be sure to check out the resources you have provided. Any support and information from people who experience the same situation is very helpful. I will see how willing she is to check out this website as well.

In response to quit-once, I believe the usage occurs mainly at work for her. I'm unsure how to approach her after hours since I don't know if she's used that particular day.

I think everyone is right in advocating tough love. I want to be consistent about my actions towards her usage but also be sure I am able to understand when she's making legitimate progress. She demands explanation of my suspicions when I confront her, not to see if I've actually discovered her using, but regretfully to determine a new way too dissuade my approach or to cover her tracks better.

Does anyone have anymore advice on tough love tactics? Or even confrontation methods? And how do you ultimately determine if they have chosen to start helping themselves?

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People start helping themselves when they quit. An addict will either use/abuse their drug or they quit persuing their addiction, and then they quit using. It really is that simple.

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I really think that the best thing is to take care of yourself... you can't save her, you can't convince her to stop or quit or change, only she can come to that realization. I think we all lied to loved ones and friends about our usage- we all thought we were ok, we could handle it, we'd quit when we were ready, etc... until we ourselves got to the point of realization that we were fucked up, we were hurting ourselves and our loved ones, we were in over our heads and needed to stop- until we realized that, we would do anything to protect ourselves from the "intrusion" of someone questioning our usage. Lying and addiction go hand in hand. Until she realizes she needs to stop, you are only going to be pestering her and she will react to your queries with thinly veiled anger, avoidance, lies, manipulation, and deceit. Don't take it personally, it's not you, but it is her, and you yourself should take care of you- that's the best thing to do. If she's one of the lucky ones she'll make it out of the addiction without losing much-- she'll realize and quit before she gets in too deep and suffers any major consequences. But until then, any attempts are just an annoyance. You can plant the seed in her mind, but beyond that I think you have to let her get to that point on her own... so take care of you, do what's best for you, and let her figure things out.... prey she does, but that's about it....

signs she might have used that day:

* drinking lots of water

* low appetite

* edgy/ easily annoyed

* not tired at bedtime

* lower sex drive

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Thank you sky. What you have said makes a lot of sense and definitely resonates in my current situation.

This is where I am most in need of help. How is it that I can be supportive, acknowledge she is not fooling me (if that is even relevant to her overcoming this), be stern about her usage, but still give her the freedom to figure out her own way without enabling/abandoning her? I'll do what ever it takes to help her, even if it means letting go.

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Hi,

I'm really sorry to hear your story - you love this woman and it hurts you to see her hurting herself, especially because she believes (as we all did at some point in time) that she has found the cure to her lack of confidence, and it's adderall. My husband was in your shoes, and like you felt hopeless to help me. Like you, he knew when and where I was using, I thought I tried to hide it from him but my addiction was really easy to track down. He counted my pills, we had fights about trust, I was distant and deceitful because I thought I could trick him in to believing he was the crazy one, not me.

This all came crashing down when I lost my job and that was my "rock bottom". Unfortunately he tried to tell me that HE was losing faith in our marriage, that the life he had with me was not the one he signed up for, but I was too stubborn (and too far gone with my adderall love affair) to listen.

I wish I could tell you that there is something you can do to change your girlfriend. But you can't. All you can do is work out your own boundaries and what you are willing to put up with or not. As long as you are with her and she is addicted, you are also powerless. Adderall is ruling both of your lives. A tough question, but if it came down to it, do you think she'd choose you or the adderall? And if you want to marry this girl, you may be looking in to a future with a woman who in effect has a secret lover. All this is such hard stuff to take, I know, and it can be really a very lonely place.

InRecovery recommended this site to me a few months ago and I think it's terrific: http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/families-and-addiction.htm

You might find some familiar things here. Till then, try to see if you can figure out what happens to your girlfriend when she is on/off the adderall. Have you taken it yourself, so you are familiar with the effects & side effects of the drug? Are you or she taking any other drugs (often adderall & downers go hand in hand), and cigarettes are also usually a big tell-tale sign.

Feel free to use this site as often as you like. Sometimes I feel worse for partners of adderall addicts than the addicts themselves, because it's not like you bought in to this... it is like you're being cheated on, and it's not fair.

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Hi Hoping for the best. Thank you for sharing this with us. I cannot imagine being the person dating someone with an Adderall addiction. My ex fiancé struggled with mine and would not marry me because of it. It was truly a giant wake up call. I thought we were going to be together forever. However, as time went on and my addiction got worse, our relationship got more troubled. But as much as I loved him...and I mean I seriously loved him...more than anything on this planet...he was my everything, but Adderall came before him and he knew it. I'd lie about it a lot and I was my worst self on Adderall. He wouldn't marry me. It broke my heart, but I didn't know how to live without Adderall. I knew if I could get off it, we might have a chance, but I just couldn't. Looking back now, if he would've married me, I would've never gotten off of it. I would've felt like my addiction was OK. I wasn't ready to give it up at that time. I had to let it run it's course. So I moved to Texas...and holy shit...things got worse. A LOT worse, but it had to get bad enough for me to get better. I am over 28 months sober now. My ex and I are still friends. We still love each other and he's so happy I'm clean. The best thing he did for me was to let me go.

Not sure if any of this will help your situation or not. Just another story and another perspective to consider. Wishing you the best and for clarity in your decision.

Keep us posted!

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Motivation-follows-action and Liltex41, your words are eye opening and are extremely helpful for me to further try to understand the seriousness of this issue.

I am unsure whether she would choose me or Adderall. I know she loves me and was willing to make sacrifices in our own relationship. But the idea that she is now lying to hide her using makes me question where her priorities lie.

I have never tried Adderall mainly because I feel like I would enable her usage more. We were heavy drinkers but we had let that go since we started going to the gym more. When she is off Adderall, she can get extremely irritable, depressed, and lashes out.

I know she is a strong person who has the will power to overcome something like this. It's getting her to see the damage that it is causing, to not only herself but our relationship, that is extremely difficult.

Liltex41, I am sorry that things turned out the way they did but I am very happy that you've overcome something this powerful and still have a close friend to support your struggle.

Motivation-follows-action, your story and resources provided are very helpful. Was there anything particularly powerful that your husband had done to help you see the big picture? Are you two still together in the end? And have you made steps towards recovery?

I feel as if I will be confronting my girlfriend soon with what I know of her usage and ultimately telling her how the lies and games are perpetuating a negativity in our relationship that is becoming as unhealthy as the drug. Unfortunately, there's where I draw a blank. I want to make the point that a change is needed, but it seems as if I need to tell her "I'll be back when you're clean". Is this the only way?

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I'm sorry for your situation. When my husband of four months told me he wanted to move back to Canada because he didn't know who I was anymore, that got me serious about quitting, because I knew that he meant it. I knew I would hate myself forever if I threw away my marriage. I ended up relapsing after a couple months, but he knew about it (i didn't hide it) and I used the time to develop a more well thought out plan to quit for the second time. The first time I quit, it was in haste and I just wasn't mentally prepared enough. So, I agree with the others. Have a bottom line - it's either me or the drug. If she chooses the drug, then that's her choice. You can't make her see the light if she's blinded by the drug. You can only set your own boundaries and stick to them. You can't be wishy washy with addicts, they will take advantage of that.

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Motivation-follows-action, your story and resources provided are very helpful. Was there anything particularly powerful that your husband had done to help you see the big picture? Are you two still together in the end? And have you made steps towards recovery?

Unfortunately adderall has a tendency to numb your emotional sensibilities and definitely (after time) takes away your sense of empathy, so even though I saw my husband's desperation, loneliness and pain... it just didn't strike home. Adderall addiction has a tendency to make you very internally motivated. You can happily spend hours by yourself, in fact time with others can be an annoyance because it adds "noise" to your already noisy brain. So even though my marriage was dissolving before my eyes, honestly I didn't really care. Or I didn't stop to think about it at all... I just thought my husband was being an attention-seeking drama queen. The fact that this is where my personality went is terrifying to me now.

There were many times when I read the "8 stages of amphetamine abuse" and the results really scared me... especially when I realized I was probably in phase 7b. Maybe you can share the list with your girlfriend and see where she thinks she is. Maybe you can share with her where you think she is. Does your girlfriend know you are writing about her on this site, that this is how much you are concerned for her?

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Hopingthebest,

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. Your girl is lucky to have you. I can hear in your voice how much you love her and its heartbreaking that she's probably so deep in her adderall world, she's shutting you out.

I wish I knew what to tell you. Honestly though, I don't think there's much you can do to change her behavior.

Different people, different substances, but some parallels in terms of addiction: In my early 20s I was in a long-term, close and very intense relationship with a hardcore alcoholic. It still hurts when I think about how much potential he had, how much potential he wasted (talented, very smart and sweet). He would black out regularly and come staggering home to me. Until I left him, I was absolutely powerless to stop this. I just had to watch him stumbling falling and slurring his words. He would lie and say things like "Oh I'm not drunk, I only had a 6 pack tonight."

I tried confronting him so many times, and using so many approaches. Eventually I asked him not to come over when he was drinking. I began to distance myself. We grew apart. He tried to stop drinking once or twice and we would both be excited about it. False hopes. He even went to AA, but never made it more than a couple weeks.

I tried so many ways to convey to him just how much it hurt me. He seemed to understand, but in the end, between me and booze, he always chose booze. We really loved each other but it didn't work out, and honestly his addiction was a huge part of that. Addiction ruins personalities and it tears relationships apart.

After it was all over it was kind of a relief for me. To this day, I cannot imagine myself living that way ever again. No matter how much he loved me, he chose alcohol over me consistently and always would have. (He still drinks just as heavily ten years later, after multiple DUI's and accidents and having to drop out of school and who knows what else.)

This is how I learned that you really can't change someone. When people are deep into their addictions, and don't want to stop, there is almost nothing you can do.

MFA is right on. It really is like they have a secret lover. I think that sometimes, the possibility of losing a partner can scare a person into realizing how bad their addiction is--but they have to still be ready, underneath it all, to see it. Otherwise the person will not hear much of what you say.

Nowadays I never try to change (or even say anything about) anyone else's substance usage. I now choose the company I keep, in part, knowing that the substance habits they maintain are something I will need to live with, because I cannot change it. I can support someone in quitting, but only if they want to quit.

I really hope your partner quits, but I imagine that there's a chance she'll be taking adderall indefinitely. Probably not forever, but for awhile. This is part of who she is right now. Maybe if you distance yourself she'll start to wake up--let's hope. No guarantees. The question is: where do YOU draw the line? Are you willing to keep living this way? What are you willing to accept?

I'm not saying you should get out, I'm just saying she needs to figure this out on her own, and she might not for awhile. But until she does, you need to take care of you.

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This thread is amazing to me. It shows just how much we change when quitting and just how much we weren't present when using. It seems most of us can agree that adderall makes us an unloving, emotionless (towards the ones we love) robots and destroyed or almost destroyed relationships in our lives.

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There were many times when I read the "8 stages of amphetamine abuse" and the results really scared me... especially when I realized I was probably in phase 7b. Maybe you can share the list with your girlfriend and see where she thinks she is. Maybe you can share with her where you think she is. Does your girlfriend know you are writing about her on this site, that this is how much you are concerned for her?

Occasional01, your story really helps me reflect on my own behavior. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to go through such an ordeal, but I will not take your words lightly as I may be fighting the same battle in the end.

MFA, this post you've attached is very powerful. I really would like to share this with her and hope she can see where her using would progress. She does not know that I am posting here, but maybe she will make the connection if she ever stumbles upon this.

I feel that ultimately the only thing I can do is try my best to explain why her using is an issue for her and our relationship, provide her with these resources and hope for the best.

It seems to be a recurring point that it is going to be whether she is willing to choose me over the Adderall. I need to let go of the idea that if I push hard, explain more, or beg deeply that its all in vain if she does not want to help herself.

If anyone has anymore helpful advice about the best way to confront someone with their usage, please let me know. The information and support from this site has been invaluable.

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Hopingthebest,

One thing you mentioned which prompted a thought: you said you never really had any idea how bad it was or how much damage it was doing. That is one theme that keeps cropping up on this forum, and is really prevalent with adderall users. Because it's somewhat socially acceptable, and it's not a street drug, adderall is often taken lightly, even though it is one hell of an addictive drug. People somehow deny that they're dependent, even though they're counting pills and going through drug-scoring rituals, consistent with drug abusers. Then people discount the severity of their addiction, using the catchphrase, "I knew a man who snorted coke every day for 20 years and wasn't ever addicted!"

People like us on this forum and site know different. I know that quitting adderall and going through recovery is probably the hardest thing I've ever done... and I've done a lot of hard shit!

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Question: is weaning off even possible, and how long does it take?

Theoretically it's possible and there are some on this site who've managed to do it. To me it's just prolonging the damage and making the withdrawal process more and more painful, I didn't have the strength to taper off.

Can she still take xanax for the anxiety that comes along with quitting?

I did take a reasonable amount of xanax through my recovery but I don't recommend it. 1) it's highly addictive itself; so she may be swapping one addiction out for another; 2) Depression and xanax are strange bedfellows. If she wants to sleep her way through recovery, then xanax is the way to do it; 3) the point of coming off adderall is for you (hopefully) to learn to live clean. Ideally it seems like an opportunity to live clean from all drugs.

How long does the tiredness stay with someone while they are coming off of an addiction to it?

I was on a similar dose to your gf. The intense exhausstion lasted about 3-4 weeks for me but the brain fog lasts for a really, really long time. You don't even realize what a clean mind is sometimes until you have a "clear day". Then you realize you haven't had all your mental sharpness for months.

How many chances should I give her?

Only you can answer that. You should work hard to come up with an answer though or you will find yourself in a position where not only are you angry and hurt at her addiction, you are angry and disappointed in yourself for your supposed weakness and failure handling this. It's hard to hear, but NOTHING you can do is going to make her change. You can try leaving, but be prepared for that to backfire on you.

She knows that this is the reason she doesn't have a ring on her finger, and I know that kills her, but it isn't getting better.

This sounds unhealthy to me, sorry but I have to say it. You can't bargain with your gf to quit drugs. She will resent you for it and who's to say she mightn't quit for a while, get engaged to you, and then as soon as she's got the ring she will go back to using again.

We live together, so just not seeing her until she is off of it is not very possible. I don't know where else to turn. I wish there was something that I could do to get this horrible addiction to stop. Does anyone have some advice for what I can do or how to act?

I'm sure you have suggested rehab. Tough love may work, or it may not. You won't know until you try it and that is an enormous risk to take as you may lose her forever. Then again, it sounds like the girl you're living with right now is not the girl you fell in love with so maybe you already lost her...

What is the best way to be supportive but not an enabler? I am so tired of this life, but won't give up..

I don't mean to sound flippant, but she won't give up either.

I commend her for trying to quit for 12 days. But unless she throws away her stash, cuts off contact with her doctors, and commits 110% to nothing else but recovery, she's putting herself at risk for relapse.

Final word: you keep focusing on your girlfriend. What about you? You have your own wants and needs in this relationship and it sounds like you've put all those aside for her and her beloved adderall. What kind of relationship do you want to be in? Is she able to provide that loving, trusting, reliable, supportive friendship and companionship that I'm sure you probably want and need? Be careful in your love and care for her that you are sacrificing the identification of and claim over your own needs in a relationship.

Adderall is a jealous mistress. She takes away your girlfriend's character, time, dedication, trustworthiness, care and compassion and replaces it with coldness, distance and lies. You have to decide for yourself whether you are willing to put up with this third party in your life and for how long. You do have a right; it's YOUR relationship too.

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Agreed. I was blown away with that response. It's almost like you have experience in this area :)

Your husband is lucky to have YOU back, because you are da bomb. (Ya, I said it)

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My husband was/is in the same situation. MFA is right about the Adderall numbing you and making you feel that the person who loves you is smothering you. Even though I am clean now, I know he still has his doubts some days. He has been so supportive and time and time again, I have lied and deceived him. I hope that one day he will be able to trust me. As for your girlfriend, she won't quit until she really wants to. When your loving and supportive, she thinks she can fool you. When you confront her, she lies more and makes YOU feel like the bad guy. I almost lost everything because of the " orange devil", but even when I thought I had hit rock bottom, I still didn't want to quit. I finally did, after a couple of relapses, but I still struggle even knowing what I could've lost and how I have put a wedge between my husband and I.

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