How to Deal with a Drug Addict Girlfriend

There can be few things more disheartening for a man than to find out this his girlfriend is substance addicted. Very often, the realization does not come about until emotional attachments have been made and strong feelings are present. Men tend to feel protective of women by nature, so most men will probably feel that they are responsible in some way to help the girlfriend overcome their addiction.

Once the addiction is discovered, often because of a drain of monetary funds or theft of items to support the habit, the man will have to make one of two decisions:

  • Support the girlfriend and hope that she can overcome her drug habit.
  • Scrap the relationship and move on.

Helping Your Girlfriend Rehabilitate

If you decide that your relationship with your drug addict girlfriend is worth trying to salvage, there are steps you can take to support her on her journey back to sobriety. Keep in mind, however, that if she doesn’t want to give up her drug addiction, there will be nothing that you can do to straighten her out; ultimately, the responsibility for becoming drug free rests with her.

Drug addicts are clever at hiding their addictions until the level of dependency becomes overwhelming. You may not even be aware of the problem until the symptoms of addiction begin to interfere with daily life.

  • Once you find out what substance your girlfriend is addicted to, do research to understand exactly how the drug works on the mind and body. Learn how to identify the paraphernalia that is associated with use.
  • If you have suspected that your girlfriend has a problem, but have been denying it – stop! Pretending that the addiction doesn’t exist or that she is just doing drugs a little bit is not going to help her overcome her addiction. No one likes to admit that the person they love is a substance abuser, but the sooner you face this, the easier it will be to get help for both of you.
  • While there are a few people who will take it upon themselves to stop using drugs without other intervention, the majority of drug users will need rehabilitation. The most effective is an inpatient rehab facility where psychological, medical, and physical needs can be met around the clock. An inpatient facility also provides a complete separation from surroundings associated with drug use. Be prepared for emotional scenes as your girlfriend will undoubtedly resist entering a drug treatment program initially. Do not allow yourself to be swayed by weeping or temper tantrums.
  • If an inpatient facility is not an option, outpatient clinics and self-help groups can provide the support needed to become drug free. Your support here will be extremely important as you can make sure she attends consistently.
  • Although it can be extremely discouraging, it is a fact that one round of treatment, either inpatient or outpatient, is seldom sufficient to keep the addict drug free. If you accept that your girlfriend will relapse at least once, it will make it easier for you to deal with when it does happen.
  • Addicts cannot be addicts without the assistance of someone else, unless they are independently wealthy. If your girlfriend comes crying to you that she needs a fix, never, ever buy drugs for her. Addicts also need someone to clean up after them, put them to bed, and make sure they get some nourishment – this is called enabling, and only make it more certain that the addictive behavior continues. Whatever you do, do not help your girlfriend to continue her addiction.

Thinking of Yourself

An ugly truth that you will have to face is that the drug is more important to your girlfriend than you are. Whether or not you accept that addiction is a disease, the drug will always come first. This is why addicts will steal from people that they love. Ultimately, your girlfriend is the one who is responsible for her addiction and for overcoming the addiction. You can provide emotional support to help her through rehabilitation, but you cannot work miracles either.

While it is true that your addicted girlfriend, even with the best of intentions on her part, will probably relapse at least once after treatment, you should also set a limit on your involvement with her. Yes, helping her to pick up the pieces after 1 or 2 relapses is fine, but are you going to endure 15 or 20 or 45 relapses? At what point do you realize that you, too, have a life and that you are not going to live forever. This may be a hard decision for you to make, but at there is only so much that one man can do to help his girlfriend, and the time may come when you have to make an objective decision about your own future.

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