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Recognizing an Addict

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The author of the article has first-hand experience on the issue of addictions and abusive relationships after being in a toxic relationship

What Are The Signs?

No one addict is the same, they all have different backgrounds and reasonings for why drugs such as meth and heroin help them. Many of these beautifully misunderstood beings have encountered at least one traumatic event before ever turning to “dope.” When one falls in love with a “dope fiend” they are forced to take on those demons and battle those demons as well as their own.

You may be thinking, “I would know better than to fall in love with any type of addict” but in reality how do you really know the signs when first meeting them, especially with online dating?

Early Signs Your Partner is Using

When first meeting a drug addict everything they do seems normal at first. Why, you may ask, because you aren’t expecting someone you meet at a grocery store or even someone from online dating to be one. Trusting people tend to give new people the benefit of the doubt.

One clear indication of drug use is if this person seems to always run out of money. He or she can work a full-time job that pays for all their bills and luxuries, but yet they end up with zero dollars after a week of getting their check and nothing to show for it but only paid one bill, maybe. Sometimes you may not notice this because you aren’t around as much so do be patient.

A second indicator would be your significant-other disappearing without notice. This can be for days or even them leaving the room you two are in for a significant amount of time. For example, you come visit them at their house and they take their backpack to the bathroom and stay in there longer than usual multiple times a day on multiple occasions.

One last indicator for me was unexplained aggression. Aggression can be both physical and emotional. In most abusive relationships, the aggressor won't become physically abusive until you both are comfortable in the relationship, so they find other ways to release their anger. This could be them starting arguments and blaming you, kicking you out of their place over something minor, and treating you like you are replaceable.

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Okay, I See The Signs, Now What?

I know, these signs are so vague and can mean twenty different things, at least that's what you think. Yes, someone who is always struggling financially can just be someone who is bad with budgeting and someone staying in the bathroom too long can simply mean they have diarrhea and I am not talking about those rare occasions. These three signs being repeated constantly make the chance of a drug(s) being involved increase significantly each time.

If you find out soon enough that this is indeed what's going on, Run! If you try to stick around things will get worse before they get better. If he or she abuses you in any way, Run! For those of us who ignored the hints and are in deep or simply don't know how to let go what should we do?

My first suggestion would be to address the situation head-on and set boundaries. You deserve to be heard because his or her's addiction is most likely affecting you in a negative way. Do not demand or give an ultimatum because 10 times out of 10 they will choose the drug over you. Simply try to compromise on what you both want and express genuine concern for their well being.

If you two cannot come to some sort of agreement then the decision of staying or going solely relies on how much you can take and for how long. It may be years before they attempt rehab or they may get clean for you but they will definitely relapse again without proper motivation. If you are willing to make many sacrifices to stick by their side then I suggest being extra patient and loving with them, but for those who are getting abused, I strongly recommend getting away and being supportive from a distance.

Different Scenarios

This basically sums up the options I gave myself when I found out but I do know that the situation itself is not black and white like this table.


Heavy drugs and proud of it

Loving, Caring, Secure

Wait it out or love from afar

Heavy drugs but wants to stop

Loving Caring, Secure

Constantly suggest rehab

Heavy drugs


Leave and love from afar

Don't Just Listen to Me

In conclusion, follow your heart and your brain first. Everything I have suggested is what I learned along the way. Please leave suggestions, criticism, and share your own stories in the comments. If you would like to know my story and decision then stick around for my next article "Loving an Addict."

© 2020 RainaD

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