The 7 Stages of Crack Cocaine Use

0 to 7 Stages of Crack Cocaine Use and Withdrawal Pattern

0) Currently using: Auditory hallucinations, hypertensive, hyper vigilant. During usage a person may think they hear sirens, cars pulling up outside, music, people talking, etc. Some people will experience tactile hallucinations such as skin crawling or seeing bugs on their skin. They will be extremely alert to the point of paranoia — perhaps suspicious of any movement around the area where they are using. It is common to hide out in the area where use is occurring and refuse to answer the door.

1) Panic stage: 1-3 hours after last use. During this phase money for more is the prime concern. In this phase a person may look for something around their house to sell or pawn or may consider where they may beg, borrow or steal something to sell for cocaine. Looking for lint on the rug hoping something has fallen is common at this point. In this acute withdrawal period, people have been known to try to rob crowded public places (mall stores, convenience stores, fast food restaurants) to obtain goods to sell or money for more crack. The withdrawal is so intense and craving so high that the person has little ability to think or reason logically.

2) Crash Stage: 3-24 hours after last use. Depression; remorse (suicidal); brain is in desperate need of rest but the chemicals (serotonin) necessary for sleep have been depleted and it is difficult, at first, to sleep. In this phase one wonders why they spent all their paycheck, used funds that did not belong to them, pawned valuable household items for less than actual value, stole from persons they truly care about, etc. Often, under the influence of cocaine-induced depression, one makes promises to never do it again in this phase and believes it. Highest risk for suicide is during this period.

3) Honeymoon Stage: 1-5 days after last use. Characterized by feeling very good. The craving is not noticeable or is easily manageable during this phase. The drug effects seem to be wearing off and one is starting to regain confidence in their ability to handle the addiction. During this phase it is common to hear a person say, “I don’t even think about it, I’m not going to have any problem with it. I do not even want it anymore.” A delusive way of thinking that ignores their past cycles and paves the way for the next binge. The chemical messengers of the brain (serotonin/dopamine) necessary to enjoy crack are still depleted and behind this lack of interest in crack. This is a dangerous stage as it is easy to think there is not a problem and therefore, why worry about it? People let down their guard during this phase and commonly use defense mechanisms, e.g., rationalizing and minimizing, to convince themselves this time they are cured and so have no need of further support or treatment. There is a high risk for people in treatment to leave during this phase as they no longer feel, or are aware of, the physical and emotional affects of the original crisis.

4) Return of Craving: 5-14 days after last use. Tremendous upsurge of acute drug hunger, depression, anger. The body has produced enough serotonin/dopamine for the person to want to use more cocaine but not enough to affect stability of mood and emotions. During this phase one may experience vivid dreams, fantasies, and acute drug hunger. Thoughts may cycle around using until a person feels like giving in to the obsession to use. Defense mechanisms (rationalization, intellectualization, denial, minimizing) begin to make a strong comeback after being knocked down by the original crisis.

5) Emotional Augmentation: 14-28 days start – up to 1-2 years. Over-response to the normal stress and events of everyday life. At the top of the mood swing one is unusually happy and at the bottom one is unusually sad. The state of making mountains out of molehills. This is related to biochemical responses induced by strong emotions that stimulate areas where mood and mind altering drugs act on the brain. The body is now seriously undertaking the repairs of areas damaged by drug use and is replacing important chemicals needed to regulate mood and emotions. As a result, one is slightly off balance chemically without being consciously aware of it. There there is a strong need for accurate feedback on one’s behavior from an objective support group. (Recommend AA or NA or another type recovery support group.) This cannot be stressed too highly for long term success in recovery. Also, low impact exercise – walking, jogging, bicycling, low impact aerobics – and a well-balanced diet will shorten this phase and reduce the severity of the symptoms. Irritability, depression, anxiety, mood swings, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, short attention span, nightmares, insomnia, fatigue, and headaches are some of the normal recovery symptoms of the emotional augmentation stage.

6) Covert Cravings: 28-35 days. Secrets and bad judgments characterize this phase. Craving is not as strong on a regular basis but one may have periodic strong cravings and not want to admit it for various reasons. Thinking it is a sign of weakness, poor moral character, that they are not working a good program, that they simply should not be having cravings. Generally, the cravings are of a low level, e.g. euphoric recall (glorifying war stories), vivid dreams that trigger cravings upon awakening, or just general mild drug hunger. Without someone to talk with concerning these normal protracted withdrawal symptoms, they can evolve into high level cravings, e.g. acute drug hunger, drug seeking behavior, obsession and on to compulsion. Again the need for a support system is strongly recommended.

7) Cue Conditioning: 35 days upward. Cue conditioning – referred to as triggers – could be money, anger, disappointment, music, a film, or extreme joy. Anything strongly associated with using could cue/trigger a craving. The strength of these cue cravings will diminish in time but continue on for years although becoming few and far between. They can catch a person off guard and evolve into higher level cravings. Again, a long term support plan for sobriety AA/NA or recovery support group is recommended to alleviate these natural manifestations.

It is a normal part of recovery to have strong cravings due to acute withdrawal 3-7 days and then continued cravings at a lower level well into protracted withdrawal 6 months-2 years. Time and severity of protracted withdrawal depend upon type, amount, and frequency of drug used. Again, a program of good nutrition and low impact exercise can alleviate these normal recovery symptoms.

Please note that behavioral symptoms: compulsion, obsession, loss of control over time, place, amount used and continued use despite adverse consequences are secondary symptoms of the disease process. With continued treatment of the disease with abstinence and a good support system, these behavioral symptoms will diminish to normal discussions over time.

The above information was provided to a friend of a friend of mine in 2000 while he was in detox for crack cocaine addiction, and she recently emailed me a copy when she learned I was going to write about crack and homelessness. Thanks, friend. :)

>> See also, “What You Need To Hear About Crack Cocaine”

898 comments on “The 7 Stages of Crack Cocaine Use

  1. Sharon B July 20, 2014 1:18 pm

    AP, if my words caused you distress then I sincerely apologize. I am no better than anyone else and certainly the only throne I sit on is in the bathroom. A dear friend who was an addict passed away last week and after spending many days with members of AA and their talk, I was on overload and also needed to vent So if you will accept my apology if I caused you pain, it was not intentional. Every circumstance is differrent, every story is different, we have all done hurtful things and all will have to deal with it in the best way we can. I have alwwys felt I could come here and say exactly what I was thinking and still do, but nothing I say is personal to any of you It is my way of dealing with the day to day of living with an addict. I point no fingers, because I am not pefect and again I regret if I hurt you.

  2. A.P. July 20, 2014 2:19 pm

    Accepted , Forgiven and My condolences on the loss of your Friend.
    I too have been on overload lately, as I briefly stated in my chat with shaz. You have never struck me as a malicious person and I have always held you and everyone on this site in high regard. Even under the cloak of anonymity it still takes a lot of courage to be buck naked honest. So it was bad timing. Making amends is a vital component of my recovery. Although I have pretty much given up on ever re-uniting with my ex. I still had to clean my side of the fence. And im o.k. with that. I have someone in my life now that is very special to me. What im not o.k. with is the fact that I may die before ever seeing my kids again. That hurts down deep. I have asked forgiveness and tried on several occasions to reconcile. And I keep getting doors slammed in my face. So when I read what you said, it was like :if I knocked you in the head with a crowbar, then asked you what’s all the blood about? that didn’t hurt! you manage to say how the hell do you know! and I reply because I didn’t feel anything.: As much as I may try to feel what you ladies or other children of addicts my feel. I cannot, unless the same thing happens to me. Just as you all will never know what its like to anticipate that fist crack hit of day so bad that you shit on yourself. Unless you been there.

  3. Sharon B July 20, 2014 3:04 pm

    Thanks A.P… took my husband many years to reconcile with his kids and then when he relasped it was like starting all over. His daughter is more forgiving and has become a big part of our lives, but his son is still stand offish, so it was with great joy that he came to our house on July 4th for a BBQ. My husband takes what he can get and that was such a huge gift. So i will hope and pray and perhaps one day your kids will be able to forgive. Other members of my husbands family do not have anything to do with him, and like I tell him when he is down on himself, he has done all he can and he cannot control them. Still hard, but as you know I support my hub 100% in his daily struggle and I never ever ever call him bad. His actions were bad and as I said earlier, I have my bad past too, so all I can ask is each day he stays sober. And no, you are right..I have never walked in your shoes and cannot imagine and as you stated you cannot know what we feel either. Perhaps just keep talking and opening doors and we can all gain a lot of knowledge. Peace and Love

  4. A.P. July 20, 2014 3:46 pm

    AGREED. understanding the best thing in the world. Wars have been waged and hundreds of millions lives lost because of misunderstandings.

  5. michael July 22, 2014 6:14 pm

    hello every one sorry i went off the grid i just was in detox to fully reap the rewnot givinards of g into temptations of crack sorry al i have not responded to you messages today i am on a day of leave but have togo back to rehab

  6. al July 23, 2014 12:21 am

    Michael, thank you! So glad you are alive, and doing what is best for you right now. :-)

  7. michael July 23, 2014 12:42 am

    as i emailed to you as i am writing here i have relapsed and i had to go to rehab since now i remeber how to produce crack aka make it in my past when i was on the street i was making crack but forgot how to make it due to the lifestyles i had well for this reason ( as you have said guilty sad mad even upset that i relapsed it happened around the same time i went off the grid well i am in rehab and good to be there hence now i remebering how to cook crack is too dangerous

  8. michael July 23, 2014 2:14 am

    one way i know of to remove yourself from panic and anxiaty atacks is to do as a child would for fear of bad dreams and afraid of the dark slowly but gradualy working on what caused the panic in the first place

  9. Shaz July 25, 2014 12:03 am

    Hey plp bk again!michael so sorry u fell,but least u back in rehab,ap we all feel ur hurt god think we seen it a lot from our loved ones,we get it from ur point&u help us understand more problay cuz u say ow it is!my husband ain’t used since March think it’s been longest since we married,but think hurts already done,take one day at time sorry can’t help it,as say 2 him so proud of him(which I truly am)but not sure y I’m still losing weight,lost all weight I put on,really gone ov food,big time,I read frm addicts wot it’s done to xthink hold on sounds like me!i read about illness that catch up wid addicts wen there older,breaks my heart!what stops us frm becoming addicts to our addicts?we rember the good!what there like wen not using,ma husband had a good upbringing so it’s not that all the time,ma god my upbringing i shud b a crackhead!only takes once that so called brill 1st hit that gets you to turn u,thing is yes I’ve tried crack naive didn’t know wot it woz,but my hubby them b”friend cud ov got me on it that hurt,always will,but we will pass on that one!anyway yesterday my little sis (Titch)had a baby boy!her 2nd one so proud ov her,her ova lads dad died ov cancer 31 & she’s put up wid so much so brave, a god she can moan at me way I look,my bubbly loud personality gone!all cuz crack!new day new battle,ope to god we win the battle cuz that’s wot it is so to the addicts&love ones my love ,Ali thinking ov u Sharon gal u crease me!this site needs pickin up!ap your thoughts do count&we do listen,woz gona say mite 2 u all but it’s 5:03 here lol, anyway u lot thinking ov u all (&mean all)xxxxx god I can go on xxxx

  10. A.P. July 26, 2014 1:20 am

    I know its been said before but tell me again. Where are you from? And where are you living now? Hope you don’t mind me asking its just your dialect is so smooth!

  11. A.P. July 26, 2014 1:24 am

    and also, do you have any trouble at all understanding us sometimes with all of our different slangs and sayings?

  12. Rose Lacade July 26, 2014 6:38 am

    My name is Rose Lacade, and I base in USA…My life is back!!! After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Prophet Akhigbe, which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across allot of testimonies about this particular prophet. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called Sonia,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Prophet Akhigbe’s e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before Prophet Akhigbe, is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man… If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine prophet to solve all your problems for you. Try anytime, he might be the answer to your problems. Here’s his

  13. Shaz July 29, 2014 12:25 am

    Hey ap I live in England,I do try to message normal but don’t think sorry , Sharon likes it lol,my husband a crackhead,life been desperate sumtimes,his not used since March &thats a defo on that one!rose that’s a funny thing to put on this site if ur husband done that to u y get a spell to get him back? Al u kk gal xxx

  14. A.P. July 29, 2014 1:17 am

    LMAO!!!! good one shaz!
    Hey Al,
    I wanted to give you some space. You know, a little head time to sort things out. But don’t think I have forgotten about you. Would an update be O.K. .now? Miss ya.

  15. Shaz July 29, 2014 6:15 pm

    Al darlin we know wot u goin throu,we ur mates rember?xxxx

  16. al July 31, 2014 5:23 pm

    Hi A.P. and Shaz, and all,

    I can´t thank you enough for your concern. You want an update…ok…hard to do…but will do as you deserve to know…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Where to start…the good I guess….My ex bf who I am still extremely attached to and NOT the illness but the connection as human beings that we share, the things in common that we share and especially the love we still share….is responding EXTREMELY WELL to the rehab center he is now living in. He has been there about a month now and even stopped smoking cigarettes. He is learning about this disease he says. He is learning about his actions and consequences and how he has hurt others. He keeps journals, and learning strict discipline as well. God is great…took a bit…but maybe you will all remember that I had asked for a psychologist or assistance for him for this disease and the abuse he revealed to me after 15 years of not telling anyone or more. He is getting lots of therapy and sounds really great and gets docked points or privileges if he screws up and out of 40 guys he hasn´t screwed up, and was even anonymously used as an example by the director who was a HUGE abuser of drugs and alcohol for 32 yrs and has now been clean for 15 yrs!!! I speak to him occasionally and he has confirmed my ex´s success so far. I guess I am a huge motivator for him to come clean…and I have been suffering with this.

    My daughter thinks I should go back with him if he really makes the effort and stays clean for some time on his own. I know I will never find another man like him ….I think about him and he phones. I talk about him and missing him and he always calls as he feels my pain as there is no one that can let him know what I am going through.

    The bad…I have been suffering greatly. It is hard to be alone when we were together basically 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day and STILL really got along stupendously well! Yes, even after being together so much. I look back and see how hard he tried…we did journal work, we did psych work (with what I had learned in college) and trying to break bad habits with new conditioning and praying and on and on. We really did want to make it work because other than this damn addiction we have been and are great together. He made me laugh, smile, cry and yes suffer. After speaking to the therapist…I understand it was nothing personal and he never wanted me to suffer…it is the disease of where and when he could get his hands on that crap…and nothing stood in the way….not even this profound love for one another. He did stop his aggressive behavior with me before any therapy as you all probably remember how he had threatened me….that stopped after he went to jail for a couple days and never turned it´s ugly head again as he said I had time to think about it and YOU are doing nothing to hurt me and only want to help me…where others turned their back on me…you never have…how could I have behaved so badly and put you in harms way…that I can promise will never happen again and it thankfully never did…not matter how upset he got, or jonsing for the drug…he never raised his voice even as it HURT him to hurt me….and I believe from his actions that that will never happen again.

    I however have been going through a depressive state. I rarely leave the house and sometimes I don´t even shower or brush my teeth for days and I have always been a hygienic person and people say I am an attractive woman. But I just don´t care about anything. Work picked up a bit. That is good and I showered then to meet new clients and have been able to assist them and make a little money. I have contracted people to help keep my home up….not costing much where I live and helping them earn a bit of cash as most are poor in comparison to our standards. But even they have expressed their concern for me. But I just can´t help it. I feel kind of lost. Friends have come around….and even suitors but I am just not interested in anything right now.

    Guess that´s about it. Hope you are gaining some weight Shaz! i will never forget you and A.P., Sharon, Joan and all those who have been extremely supportive on here. I did hear from Michael God bless him and all of you that are working hard to overcome the control that this drug has over us. I will try. I must because I have been asked by the therapist too to help in the motivation for my ex bf´s rehabilitation. He is a very good man and would be a dream to not have to struggle with this. Glad to hear those of you day by day take it but keep at it…cause you are worth it! And Paul E? You too have been a real eye opener for me….as my ex is shy too …yet you wouldn´t know it in a work situation. It is hard when one has been hurt to move forward…but it is better then moving backwards…any day! I am going through this hard phase because I am so confused as to Stay or should I go thingy? If I could be assured I wouldn´t have to go through this crap again….there would be no question…..or uncertainty. But I just don´t want the uncertain life of before when he was using or not using or lying to me or not lying to me…if you actually knew me…you would wonder how in the hell I could live with him in that state for 3 and a half years! I just can´t share my bed with someone that I can´t believe…that is the bottom line. But my heart and soul and something stronger than what one can put a finger on….misses him dearly and wants him back in my life after the 7.5 months or year or whatever he needs to be there for…and he agrees and never has before! The other rehab times were only a couple of weeks and without therapy. He says it is exactly what he needed and wants to do everything to be clean, stay clean and get back with me. Who the hell knows….I sure don´t.

    Hugs and KISSES this time ….as you guys really have been there for me and it is so very much appreciated! Love to you all!

  17. A.P. August 7, 2014 1:04 am

    Thanks Al,
    For the complete low down. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.
    Leave it to you to be completely transparent and I for one appreciate your honesty and your trust. This is how I view this: ITS NOT HOW MANY TIMES A MAN FALLS THAT DEFINES HIM. ITS HOW MANY TIMES HE GETS BACK UP. Your man keeps getting back up. I cant help but respect that. Because that is what it is going to take. So many of my fellow addicts fall and never get back up. Some, after so many tries and failures finally exhausted and feeling defeated just give up. striking it up to saying “this must be my lot in life: So they live the rest of their life in humiliation and degradation. Until they are found dead in some pissy back ally of the sewer district. But your guy(and this makes him my guy also) still has fight left in him. And as long as he does I will continue to fight with you Al. Because that is how it was for this addict. Even when I was at the lowest point in my life. Living on the streets for 12 long miserable years. In and out of jails, in and out of programs, in and out homeless shelters. Sleeping in cardboard dumpsters, standing in those long soup kitchen lines in the depth of winter. Wearing the same dirty stinking clothes for weeks at a time. I never ever lost hope of one day living clean and sober. I would tell my using buddies, that I don’t care if I live to be 102 years old I will never stop trying to beat this thing. And if I did die before I beat it I wanted engraved on my tombstone HE NEVER GAVE UP. If we can keep swinging the ax the tree will eventually fall. As for you my beautiful sister, with the depression and all, This too shall pass. I am so relived to hear he opted for long term treatment. If you remember a while back that was my suggestion. I still think a year or more is best but 7 months is better than 1. At any rate please keep ole A.P. informed. I’m always just a click away.

  18. al August 8, 2014 9:09 am

    Thank you A.P. for your insight into so many things. YOU GET IT! Many think they do, but they really don´t! Now that I have seen and experienced what he is going through incarcerated really in this rehab…having a pastor come and give them a sermon which gave really good advice by being the person who you are or need to become and not the labels put on you …and surely you know what I am talking about if you lived on the streets as you mentioned. But one needs to look into finding that inner strength and being tired of the way you used to live and where this drug took you…to the depths of hell. And that the only way out is day by day, minute by minute, moment by moment staying away from it. The only good I see that you got out of it was street smarts and boy do you have it. And I think it is a miracle that you not only survived that, but still had enough of a brain to see that and to do something about it as you have done and to KEEP doing it because as you say…if you keep axing at it the tree must eventually fall.

    I spoke to the therapist at length and he said that the neurons in the brain take 45 days to commence to recharge correctly…and a year or two to really start to fix themselves and that includes not smoking either. He also told me in a round about sort of way …that few really take to the treatment and that was a wake up call for me and I need to think about myself also. Watching programs that repeatedly show people killed by people on crack….even though the person is a good person, the drug takes you beyond knowing what is right or wrong and that is really scary. He did confirm that my man is in the top third of the 40 men there. My heart went out to all of them….and as they left as a group to play soccer, and were all waving bye to me…I just had to express myself and offer them all the strength to keep at it as you said.

    I teach people to keep at it. That is what I did for a living and still do. NEVER EVER GIVE UP! With sports…it takes training, practice and will power to get to be a good soccer player, basketball player, skier, golfer, what ever. In one´s career….the same thing…one needs to continue on to the max to be the best they can be.

    I am thrilled to have heard your story and where you have come from and what you did and are continuing to do. And if those addicts who still are on the street and forget what you asked them to put on your tombstone….consider it done because a higher power always sees what we are doing and confirming the best in us.

    Like you said…JUST KEEP TRYING. By not trying, you KNOW where you will be in some dark alley dead in a sewer. I don´t think anyone wants to choose this way of life, or planned on growing up this way. I hope he makes the right choice. I have and will stand by him. But to be honest with you as you also appreciate…I continue to hear him saying that he is doing this for us. I need him to do it for HIM. The therapist said he needs to work on his maturity and I don´t want him to think my caring for him makes him who he is. He needs to make who he is.

    My respects A.P. You have been through so much and come so far …that I hope others reading your story will wake up and realize like you have….that this is a lifelong endeavor and one to make sure to keep at it! My condolences for what you have had to go through and others reading this for such a nasty, horrible drug that was introduced on this planet as no one should have to go through what you have, no one should have to struggle with it…consuming it or being around it and this is what I struggle with. I fell in love with the GOOD I saw in this man and it IS there. And I don´t want the bad or the ugly to take over the good in him, or me, or anyone.

    Best wishes to all, keep at it as you say A.P. We all deserve a better life and the only way is to keep at it! Love to all. Al

  19. A.P. August 9, 2014 8:33 pm

    Ya know what Al?
    You reminded me of something that I don’t do nearly enough of on this site. That is to give thanks to my Higher Power for working in and through my life. To thank a Power greater than myself for sustaining me, for restoring and protecting me not only when I walked the halls of hell. But for the times when I could have been at deaths door and didn’t even know it. So today I just want to take this time to say that I am truly, truly thankful. I am thankful that I went to bed last night with a clean conscious and clean hands and woke up in my right mind. Thankful that today I have a very nice home. A refrigerator full of food and many changes of clothing. Today I am thankful that I have the respect and trust of TRUE friends. And that I can be a TRUE friend. Thankful that I no longer have to walk with my head hung in shame. But can look ANYONE straight in the eye today. Yes, I thank my Higher Power for being the lifter of my head. And I saved the best for last. TODAY I GOT THE SWEETEST E-MAIL FROM MY DAUGHTER THAT I HAVE EVER READ!!!!!! So forgive me if im a little stoked. To everyone out there who visits this site. I am living proof that it can get better. So in closing, I will try harder to remember to keep an attitude of gratitude. For I am truly a blessed man.

  20. al August 11, 2014 12:17 am

    WOW is all I can say A.P. YOU HAVE COME A LONG WAY! And I am sure all of us reading this gives us hope and more understanding by the words, feelings, and thoughts you share with us….especially your history. I am so glad you have a roof over your head, a full fridge, good friends, clothes, a mind left to sort this out day by day, and a gratitude that a higher power is with you to help guide you whenever things might let you down and helps to keep you on the right track. So glad you can now hold your head high…and that your daughter wrote to you. We all need time to feel like we have you back…before we let ourselves fall ourselves in believing, it´s as if we need proof, if you know what I mean. I am working on this because I was missing my stereo in the car and was quick to blame…when people I loaned the car to…had stashed it (for safe keeping and I got it back…they just forgot to give it to me or tell me)….but the me with a life with an addict, had immediately thought it was stolen.

    I had mentioned to my ex boyfriend when we were together that he lacked the spiritual understanding in his life. And I had him write down in a notebook what he was grateful for …but he was just playing me then…even though he wanted to get off crack. He was playing himself more than anyone else though as we all had our doubts about him and his real desire to quit using. Today he has been bringing that which he lacked into his life and he is now using his own notebook and writing everything down. He is able to share with others about the abuse he suffered and now does not feel so alone or weird, when many others there(in long term rehab) share similar stories. Being able to deal with that has helped him immensely….and having a higher power that he can believe in that is helping him too.

    He is now talking about doing this for himself. Still includes me…but also talks about maturing, about being responsible, about apologizing for all he did to me. I know he will get there because he is jumping hoops in his program. And he thanks me for supporting him.

    I am so glad you can give thanks. I am not very religious as I have stated on here before. I do not go to any church or have any affiliation, but I give thanks every morning I wake up. I give thanks for even breathing, and I pray for others more than anything and rarely ask for anything for myself….unless I am really sick is about the only time I do.

    Well I just want to thank you for what you shared as it was very uplifting and helpful A.P. It gives us all hope and belief that there is a better life …no matter how far one has fallen. Keep at it, and all who read this keep at it….as there is a better life out there for all of us if we continue to try.

    Hugs and more thanks than words could ever give…and to the higher power that has helped you and others , as well as myself.

  21. A.P. August 11, 2014 9:50 pm

    Sometimes we never know how much pain lies beneath the surface.
    Sometimes our demons get the best of us.
    Rest In Peace Robin Williams.

  22. tbh August 15, 2014 10:59 am

    Hi all,
    My boyfriend has just relapsed after being clean for 6 months. I am having a hard time with this. I don’t want things to be like they were when he was using every day. He becomes this whole other person, he lies, he steals, he is aggressive towards me. I know he wants to change, how do I help him? We have been planning on getting married this winter and having kids but all this makes me question that. I just want him happy and healthy. I say healthy because he also has cancer. I’m just running on empty here.

  23. Sharon B August 15, 2014 11:30 am

    Hello tbh, I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. Everyone of us on here has been there. It is so heartbreaking and you are lost wondering what the hell you are supposed to do and I have no words of wisdom to share. Your heart feels broken, you feel kicked in the gut, you cannot think. If you have friends and family close by, lean on them. You have done nothing wrong and you cannot fix it through love. We have all tried that. The most important thing now is to take care of yourself, and if so inclined ry for the strength to get through this. My husband has been clean for over two years, but not a day goes by that I forget it. I have forgiven and we just take it day by day. It is a cruel ugly drug that destroys not only those using but those who love them…much prayers and hugs going your way

  24. tbh August 15, 2014 11:46 am

    Thank you Sharon. I’m glad to hear your husband has been clean for 2 years. I only hope for that. It is comforting in a way to know that I am not the only one to go through this and not the only one to feel these emotions.

  25. Sharon B August 15, 2014 3:18 pm

    No Honey you are not alone. We have all felt it. If you scroll back and read from everyone you will see what you are feeling is normal. It is just so mind blowingly unreal.. The weekend I found out 2 years ago that my then 10 year sober husband used again is a blur in my mind. I went into self preservation mode and within 24 hours I had moved his crap out, changed locks, froze credit cards and bank accounts, and decided to file for divorce..Then by Monday when he called from his sponsors house I was calm and redy to talk. With the help of our priest, counseling, his sponser, and AA we were able to work our way back and I realized that I am not perfect and I could fforgive. However as many on here know, it is the one chance he gets. I could not live through it again. Next time if it happens, the locks stay changed, the crap stays gone ect. And that is for my sanity, not as a puichment to him.

  26. tbh August 15, 2014 3:33 pm

    I feel the same way with this being the last chance. I don’t want to be in a situation where we are married and have kids and this is still going on. I know its a battle for him and it won’t just go away over night, all I can do is pray. Thank you for your kind words and understanding.

  27. Anonymous August 16, 2014 10:27 am

    Crack addict for 5 years, now clean for the last 5…it’s tough sometimes reading from all the women on here that have been affected, because was one of those guys causing the pain. My trigger to going back when I was struggling was having available cash – remove me from cash and I would get clean, give me access before I was ready I went back out, it was as simple as this for me at first. I reconciled with my wife who divorced me, and we have been back together happily for the last 4 years. She gets every available dime I have and getting access to my savings/retirement is incredibly difficult (I’m 43 and had to restart this because well, you know, I went through it all when I was out using). If you’re man is not willing to be at least transparent to you on the financial side, toss him out to the curb before its too late.

  28. tbh August 16, 2014 2:45 pm

    My bf has said the same thing about money. He told me that I am not to give him a dime, his paychecks now go in my account and I am changing all debit/credit card pins. The problem this last time as you mentioned above is we thought he was ready to handle things when he wasnt. We both thought he could handle having cash and using the bank card but he eventually started having those horrid thoughts of using. So now we are starting over. I know now that I have to be in control at all times. Its sad really but this is what has to be done to get him on the right track.

  29. al August 20, 2014 8:08 pm

    HI tbh, I am glad you have reached out and asked us to help you. I dHon´t know you are your situation other than what you have written so anything I write about is coming from my situation with a crack addict boyfriend of 3+ years who also asked me to marry him.I have been a regular on this site for all that I have been through and I have been warned about GET OUT NOW before it is too late and did not take this advice. I have been warned about not giving him money. I have read the heartache of both husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends regarding how much they have suffered with this roller coaster of a ride situation. I also know that I love the person very much who is the crack addict ex boyfriend of mine and he is still quite a part of my life and so is his family. If I just think of him or dream about him or whatever…he is the very first person to FEEL me and call me! WE are extremely connected….the last time while I was trying to reach him, he was on another line trying to reach me. YES; THAT CONNECTED! And we are miles away from one another. We were together 24 /7 and loved being with one another, and if apart for even a half hour…was very difficult for us and still is.

    These are the things I suffered with the person I love—lack of confidence, trust, respect, and almost my life. Yes, I had a huge kitchen knife touching my chest, with a boyfriend who loves me that looked like the devil had taken over him and instead he chased me around the sofa in our living room and had me again and punctured our new sofa instead of me, thankfully. He put the knife under his chin and wanted to take his own life. Big scandal in my little town when the police came and took him off the property as he refused to leave.

    I lost my savings, tons of things from home that he sold for drugs (including our motorcycle that he smoked up in ONE NIGHT!) Yes, they are things…but some of them were very sentimental items I will never again see in my life time.

    He and I were in this type of situation on and off about half a dozen times. Although like Sharon B. and he knew he had one chance left. I caught him again, doing it all over again. Putting me, my business, and confidence I had with others at risk too. My personal health went right down to the worry of losing my own life with high blood pressure and heart problem. Now I am fine because I no longer have any worries.

    Love is just not enough tbh. We have it. He did therapy stuff with me as I have had some psychological training. He did make the effort and I did handle the finances and felt like a babysitter the entire time. When I thought he could handle it as you say…he never could…not even to go to the market around the corner…he ended up putting things on credit there and then going off and selling them for drugs leaving me a HUGE bill that has yet to be paid.

    He relapsed and had nowhere to go…but this last time my girlfriends backed me up and stayed with me as they waited for him to get his things (where he was so good at sneaking things -he took MORE from me to sell for drugs-even as he was sad it was over)…until we watched him go off on a bus somewhere else.

    He is now in a very good rehab center. He is at the top of his class. But I am still leary if this is just another great manipulation on his part as he could get an Academy Award for his ability to take advantage of any situation. He swears he wants off the drugs and has been there now for about 50 days now. He is doing extremely well and to help him they have asked me to continue to be involved in his recovery as he swears he is doing this for me too as he really does love me. The therapist explained to me that all the hurtful things he did to me were not to hurt me and was nothing personal…it is the drug dependency and nothing more.

    I do not want to marry him. I would NEVER have children with him even if I could. No matter how much I love him…how do you build the trust we lost? Is it possible that he will never relapse again? There is no guarantee and many, many or most do relapse at some time or other. Here is what I want to ask you.

    Do you want to be a babysitter to him AND your children for the rest of your life? Are you prepared to be breadwinner and mother? Do you feel this is a safe environment for your children? Or a good example? His cancer too will be another thing to contend with….are you able to handle all of this? Are you independently wealthy? Would you be prepared to lose it all even if you are? Would you still be able to love him and take him back if he were to relapse again? Are you strong enough to go through all the emotional trauma and still keep your health…I thought I was, and almost died. All of us WANT to have children but we forget what is best for them. That should be #1 on a persons list…to give our children a safe, comfortable, loving home with security to live in with every possible support and love we can give them. Is this the way you are sure they will have with him, for them?

    Not trying to bring you down or being negative by any means tbh. I just want to make sure you are very clear as to the life you could be choosing. And believe me…I know about love and heartache. I am sure you love this man and want what we all dream of…but be sure that you know what you are really going to get yourself into, and what you may or may not bring children in to and not be selfish about it. Because it could come back and bite you in the backside. My advice is obviously NO, don´t do it. I didn´t take that advice and I really should have. I hope you won´t be as lame as me because the road is an UGLY one. Even though my ex boyfriend is getting help…he is still delusional and believes we will get back together again. I love him and would love nothing more….but I doubt very much the years of his use of drugs, and behavior that comes with it…lying, cheating, stealing, manipulation, and all the rest will go away that easily or maybe never. I KNOW he really DOES love me…or he would not be making the effort he is making where he is now. But it just is not any guarantee. If I could be SURE that it was….I wouldn´t even be questioning getting back with him. Guess we shall see…but I like the others on here who have suffered…never want to go through it again.

    I am finally getting my health back, my finances again in order, my self respect and esteem, my business is doing much better (as I had little time for it, my clients, or friends–always babysitting him all the time.)

    And for those that use or did use, or want off this horrific drug….this is no disrespect toward any of you either. It is just my story and my personal feelings and hope you all can understand that. I am a strong woman and I know that may of you are strong people too…but unless YOU decide to get out of this on going problem…you must do everything an more than you can to make those changing and I now feel in our case…with the help of GOD and professionals who understand how to help you. tbh…you know that this is not something you can just fix. It is a lifelong addiction that takes great effort…daily, every minute and moment of the addicts life and I commend all of you that ARE making this effort. Some like A.P. my ex bf´s therapist I talk to who were homeless on the street (this therapist lost his eye fighting to keep the booze and coke he had on him with another addict,….and now wears an eye patch)….have a home, clean clothes, food, and jobs….in the therapists case…HE WAS HOMELESS and involved in every drug imaginable for 30 some years. He has been clean for 15 years now. So there is help people, and it CAN be done. But you need to want it more than ANYTHING, and then some and be prepared DAILY to stay off of harmful things to you and others.

    Peace and love and hope this helps you decide what to do as I know how confused you can feel. I know that they want to stop using and will convince you that they will…they are MASTERS at doing this. But as some mentioned here and they are correct…they will never be able to handle having money and for some…that means not working either because they are afraid. I don´t blame them, or anyone. But for a better world…we all need to think of ALL of our futures….and one is just saying NO to this drug! Whatever it takes to say NO…DO IT, as I know the addicts I visit at the rehab where my ex is….are lovely, caring, thoughtful people…so keep saying NO to this drug and all the rest that controls your life, so that you and others that love you, may have a better life for all! XOXOXO

    Told you how connected we are…he must have KNOWN I was thinking about him and us, writing to you. He just sent a photo of himself with a heart he made out of his hands to me. :-)

  30. Sharon B August 20, 2014 9:24 pm

    Al so happy to see you are doing good…have not heard from Shaz in a long time and sure wish she would check in. All fine here and I think I reached a milestone. I am going away with my girlfriend this weekend and leaving hubby alone for first time In two years. I am done with being babysitter and what will be will be. I need to go back to having fun with friends! Looking forward to girl time and a few drinks and just relaxing! Love and. Peace to all

  31. A.P. August 20, 2014 11:23 pm

    Way to bring it Al,
    The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!!!

    I HATE THIS DISEASE!!! If this disease were a man I would have to kill him. Because self preservation being the first law of nature, would make it self-defense in any court of law. I hate what it has taken from me, my family and for what it has taken from all of you and sadly you are right. Because of its insidious effect, none of us may never be the same.

    But there is a bright side. Its been said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. And I chose to believe it.

  32. tbh August 21, 2014 6:02 am

    Al everything you said hits home. These questions you asked me I have been asking myself daily. I don’t think I’m ready to let go but no I don’t want to be a babysitter to the man I may marry. That doesn’t seem like a marriage to me. I don’t want to have children brought up around drugs and violence. I too have been in some physical “situations”. Not a knife to my throat but choked, shoved, hit but never in the face ( he makes a point not to do that, he thinks it doesn’t count) and had things thrown at me. I do love this man. He says he has been paying on a ring for me and wants to marry me. I don’t know if that’s true or just a ploy to get money. I know I can’t marry him with things like this. I’m not wealthy. I have been working since I was 16 to have the things that I have. It may not be much but its mine. I have lost sentimental things as well that can never be replaced. My nook is missing for the 3rd time now. I guess it was pawned. Although he says he has no idea. I always feel as though I am being manipulated. He said something to me one time when he first told me of his addiction and was stealing from me. He said crack makes him think differently and if he sees an opportunity to take advantage of something he will. I just figure I’m that something.I have no one I can talk to. My family doesn’t know and I don’t want to alarm his, With his cancer, a son that just started law school and a daughter starting her senior year of high school. I hope things can be different but I know that’s far fetched. If they can’t change I hope I can gain strength as you did to be without him, to know I’ve done all I can do.

  33. al August 22, 2014 7:52 pm

    Hi Tbh, A.P. and all,

    Where do I start. Where it began I guess for TBH. You sound so much like me! I too started working very young….at age 15. My manipulating boyfriend would throw in my face…WHAT…so THINGS are more important than me or people to you? Yes, and so it went one item after another gone missing and ALWAYS PAWNED…from cellphones, to Motorcycle! Yes, I too worked hard for all these THINGS…just to have them not just stolen and pawned…or damaged as he has a destructive nature because of abuse he has suffered in the past. Yet he can be the most charming person and really helpful and kind. But as friends had warned me….Watch out for him…and boy were they correct. He was even given a nickname…lets see…in English it would be sneak/clepto…and even when you are watching him…as when he was packing to leave…I STILL lost something very dear to me. Which of course like ALL the other stuff…I will never see it again or anything for that matter unless I GO and face the drug supplier and have to PAY for it to get it back…but he had so many I don´t know where I would even begin to look…and the one time I did…I felt for my life in that situation too. It was scary and very ugly and the bitch took my chip out of the phone with all my numbers on it anyway….which was what I wanted in the first place and cost me $30 for the oldest, cheapest of cell phones. I NEVER want to go back there ever again!

    As for the violence…I am also so sorry you have had to experience this. I had always wondered watching movies what it would feel like to be punched in the face. Well, unlike you I did experience that too (just forgot to mention it before). I had been driving when we got into an argument (and we NEVER EVER argued when he was clean, NEVER!) And without my knowledge…I took a hard closed fist just like in the movies in the right side of the face…he was in the passenger seat. I couldn´t believe it as I was driving slowly but was almost knocked unconscious or was for a brief instant or seconds…who knows. I could not believe it. I called the cops and they spoke to both of us and I said search the car for drugs …if he is using I do not want to have him around me ever again…(that was about the 4th time I broke up with him). He swore he would not use and that he had nothing and the police asked if I wanted to file charges but he would have gone to jail and been abused again which would have made him worse and would have had him coming after me most likely because they do NOT THINK clearly or even understand consequences because the brain is not firing correctly. The neurons are DAMAGED! Once they are off this nasty drug for 45 days they start to recharge and only just begin to start thinking more clearly according to the therapist I have been speaking with that is assisting my ex boyfriend.

    They have no understanding of a lot of things. LIke not just what might happen if they did this…they don´t care. It is not to hurt you personally…it is the desire to consume something that has taken control of their life. You must understand that this is a disease…and yes, it can be controlled but few like A.P. and Paul E. have been able to control it…most don´t make the true effort that it takes to do so and I can´t even imagine how hard it must be but it is the ONLY way to be able to be sane. Yes, A.P. I read what insights you give us, how you express yourself and it is an honor to know someone like you that gives yourself that fighting hope and us that hope each day and it is so important for all the crap you have been through to believe in the fight like you say. But Tbh…don´t kid yourself…as I said….very few people make the effort that it takes. Not that they don´t want to…they do! They don´t want to hurt us. But if they don´t care about how they are hurting themselves …how can they begin to think about caring for you or children in the future….even if rehab works….HOW LONG WILL IT WORK FOR? If you can read back…there was a man who shared his wife´s story of 15 yrs clean and then she had suddenly disappeared and was gone for 15 days leaving his children in his care and worried sick about where she might be or if she was alive. He has not been back on here since…but I so wish I knew the rest…she did turn up he said….and had relapsed after having two small children. Other stories like us women whose husbands boyfriends SWORE they would never use again ….and lada lada…same old story, they do again. I don´t know if you want to risk THAT. And as I said….if there were a guarantee…I would be back with my boyfriend in a heartbeat. I still tell him that I am not his girlfriend and he says…I know that this is how you think…but I will never love another woman like I love you and I want to gain your confidence again and I see us together again. I too love this man so very much and doubt if I will ever find a better man (other than his addiction)….he is a wonderful, kind, thoughtful, fun, intelligent, endearing, caring person who I believe truly loves me. But while trying to help him at home….I would say to him…how can you actually say you love me…if you don´t love yourself enough to get off this crap? You can´t even know what love is…and now he is realizing with a clearer mind with the neurons firing up that I was correct. He arrived there saying I am doing this for us. Now he is beginning to say….if you never wanted me back again, and I am still doing this for us…but I will not leave here if you don´t support me because I know this is exactly where I need to be and it is helping me so much! Helping me to understand why I do the things I do, why I thought the way I thought, how I could hurt the people that I loved and to learn about this addiction. But I still just don´t know and I pray for all who are addicted to this demon cause staying on it …is a LIFE OF HELL and everyone will turn their back on you eventually because to protect oneself in the end you just have to. So sad because families will no longer be there for them. When they hit rock bottom is when I notice that they will decide to get help or not. I know they get tired of living like a bum. But some their brains are so GONE that it is difficult for them even to make this correct decision.

    I just don´t want you to fall for all of this Tbh as you sound as nice as me. I am a very good person and gave it all up ALL even my personal health for a drug addict. Tomorrow I am scheduled to visit him…and Sunday too….only because I had plans to go to the city he is in for business which I will do first as it is exhausting. I give all and then I still feel like I have to give more. I need to be so careful as to what I say, and how I behave because they can read you so well too. And I am a sincere person, but do need to be there for him for motivational purpose per the therapist and my ex himself…but always trying to remember that I am not his girlfriend because I so still love him very much.

    Yes, both you and AP are correct about becoming stronger! I think they prey on weak or damaged people so that they can try to control them. I don´t want to be controlled by anyone or any addiction they may have as I am not addicted to anything but him as some have suggested on here. And before you get too HOOKED into this trap, and it is a TRAP….where you must try to decide what is best for you and your future. Had I KNOWN what I was getting myself into….(as he turned up on my doorstep asking for a couple nights stay and promising me he was not using ANY drug, which he now says was a LIE)….I would NEVER had him stay here at all. I would still have MY THINGS, MY SELF RESPECT, MY UNDAMAGED HOME and VEHICLE (both damaged by him), never been hit in the face or chased with a knife or all the tears I have shed, and so on…like being financially better off. Then I guess this human at least can leave this planet knowing I tried. But in the end, it is really up to them. And they will make you believe it (and if his parents don´t know, I am sure they suspect….or know, but just don´t want you to know they know and are GLAD you have taken him off their hands)…that is what happened to me too. It is up to the addict to make the changes they want more than anything and then some, as I have said. YOU are best to stay away…especially if you doubt the ring, the money, things missing, knowing you will be babysitting more than your kids, and will emotionally and financially struggle the rest of the days of your lives if he doesn´t seek professional help…and all those red flags are REASONS not to get married, let alone have children with him. I KNOW you love him. Do you love him more than yourself and your kids in the future? After a few years, you will be stuck and the beautiful man that one once had…has gone bad….real bad. Ck out photos on the internet of before and after pics of crack addicts! You will be amazed. And if you don´t believe me …ask Sharon B on here about her husbands health. Oh, Sharon …so proud of you that you are taking some quality time for yourself and left the babysitting behind for a weekend….first one in two years tbh that Sharon B. could go out and do something on her own! And I hope he will be fine Sharon…but you too have only one life. Remember everyone…we only have ONE life…so make the most of this one.

    Love and peace and strength to you all,

    Thank you for sharing! It helps us all! Thank you ALL very much! XOXOXO

  34. Claudia August 23, 2014 1:59 am

    This blog and everyone’s sorry is extremely touching to me thanks to everyone participating and thanks for sharing your stories whether on brief detail or in detail.

  35. A.P. August 23, 2014 3:43 am

    Good GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is exactly why I have stayed with this site for so long. This is what it is all about!!
    Although we have had some bumps along the way (and some,probably wish that I would bump off Ladies, I can now say that I truly love and respect you all more than you will ever
    know. You teach me so, so much.
    Especially you Al, your passion is only surpassed by your gift of expression. In a couple of days I will reread you last post because there are so many things you said that I want to take another level.
    Listening, Sharing, Consoling, Supporting and yes sometimes even Sparring!
    We are still family here.
    And thank God we are BACK!! Wow, am I starting to sound like a woman now or what?????

    Welcome tbh, Claudia, and all others.

    SHAZ!!! have you forgotten your mates across the pond?

  36. al August 23, 2014 3:47 pm

    Yes, Shaz…where are you doll? Please get in touch. Like A.P. says…We are all family and there is nothing, absolutely nothing (obviously) that we can´t handle. So express away people as it certainly has helped all of us who do express ourselves on here to do so. I know I can get wordy, and I apologize for so much detail. But if it helps others then I take that apology back. And yes, thank you Claudia, and Michelle and all the others who read and participate or who just read which is GREAT TOO!

    Glad you finally have come around to love us A.P. I know that many of you addicts think that because we have never participated …think we don´t know or FEEL what is going on. Believe me…I suffered every single time my bf was jonsing. I saw it in his eyes, in his habits, in his actions. It hurt me so much and made me feel the same way…ansy, uncomfortable, unbelieving, uncaring, unthoughtful, paranoid, and while he was stealing from me I was just as busy trying to hide things from him. So please try to understand that those of us who love you…do experience much of what you do…of course not all, but yes, and I know it is the hardest thing to have to deal with.


    My ex boyfriend just called me from his rehab. He said he believes this to be the 1st real rehab center he has been to because the others were geared to Alcoholics and he now has an understanding of what this addiction is about and how to really deal with it. He is setting goals, accomplishing them and is even been made the example to all the other 39 men there and been asked to do the introductions to the new people (and he has only been there 50 days!) They have taken him to other locations(rehabs) to do repair work as he was the first to ever offer and got up and in the roof and did some changes that blew them the frick away! He is receiving this information like he was a born again! And he IS! He is positive now, has some major things LIKE LIFE to look forward to …and is truly, truly happy and getting healthier each day! I compare what he has done and the changes he has made…like goals he is accomplishing and setting for himself….like a man doing Olympic hurdles and going for the GOLD! There IS no stopping him now! He has the proper direction and help he has needed for the last 15 yrs and is embracing it with everything he´s got. I couldn´t be prouder of him. And he KNOWS this site is very important to me and he wants to share some things for you through me…because he isn´t fluent in English…so please look forward to it…I know I am!

    My friends (am including you folks too) say I have made a difference in so many people´s lives….WE ALL CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE¨S LIVES for a better world no matter how little it seems to you. I remember pulling, pushing dragging people´s cars out of the snow in Colorado in the winter. And they would always ask how they could repay me…and I always said…do something nice or help someone else is how you can repay me. Now? I find that everything I can do for others comes back to me ten fold! Not expecting it to, or expecting anything. And people just either do really nice things, or treat me really nice and respectfully, say something that makes my heart soar like you A.P., and so I say to you all…just do your best, to make this a better world for everybody!

    And Sharon B….how was your weekend, and did your husband of 2 yrs clean handle the first time being alone in so long?

  37. robin del duco August 25, 2014 6:45 pm

    This is all new to me, yes my husband told me many years ago he had a crack addiction, and how it ruined his life. Well I got a large sum of money and also I make a great living on my own. I was working to check my account left to almost nothing. I was in complete shock he made many excuses where the money went and I believed every store, untill he decided to go to bed and I walked in on him smoking out of a can. He promised to stop untill I had to dig in my 401k to get me out of debt he got us in. Deposit went and 1 day later all gone. We got through that untill recently he took everything cant pay one bill he put us in ruins all he can say is he is sorry. 2 days ago surround sound gone. Im sure the tv is next what do I do he wont leave the home. He lost 2 weeks worth of work so no money coming in. Please I need advice he gets so angry im not sure what hes gonna do next.

  38. Sharon B August 25, 2014 6:56 pm

    Hello Robin, I am so so sorry to hear about this. Breaks my heart..honey I cannot give advice on what to do but if you are scared you need to leave the house. Nothing is worth getting you hurt. If you have family you can go to, do it. Just please make sure you are safe and then you can decisions on what to do

  39. A.P. August 25, 2014 9:40 pm

    If you have read any of my post, you know that I don’t pull any punches when it comes to this disease. Lives are at stake here(and not just the addicts). Let me begin by sharing a little story with you.

    I used to love putting women down who sold their bodies for drugs. I got some sort of twisted justification from calling them all sorts of nasty names. I mean, how stupid can you get right? Until I did the same thing. Yes, that’s right. I am a heterosexual male, that slept with another man for drugs.

    Why am I telling you this? Because every addict, every alcoholic has to hit “THEIR” bottom before they can surrender. That was my bottom. It can be different from case to case. Losing my wife and kids hurt like hell. But it wasn’t my bottom. Smoking us into bankruptcy wasn’t my bottom. Neither was walking away from a tri-level 3 bedroom house to live on the street for 12 years. ( yes al, I not only sold “2″ motorcycles! one of which wasn’t even mine! I also sold a car for dope!) EVEN AFTER GOING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM WITH HEART PALPITATIONS WASNT MY BOTTOM! I was right back in the dope house the same night.

    My point is this robin. What you have on your hands right now is a runaway freight train. A ticking time bomb. In other words, an addict in full blown addiction.

    I agree 100 % with Sharon. The best thing that you can do right now is get the hell out of the way. Because this thing is going to have to run its course. And it will. With or without you. If you have any love left for this man just pray he doesn’t die first.

    You said that this isn’t his first rodeo. And what you have said so far bears that out. Because this thing gets progressively worse. Whenever I relapsed, (and there were too many to count). I would never start over, I always would pick up where I left off!!

    I know about the so called “no snitch rule ” but you said yourself that you don’t feel safe. So if you have to get the authorities involved so be it. Something is gonna have to get his attention. All the im sorrys (and I believe that he is). wont cut right now. Because his brain has been hijacked. He is no longer in control. THE DOPE IS RUNNING THE SHOW!

    And on that note, before I close. Reading AL’s last post made me really think, as she always does.All of you ladies are victims of domestic terrorism . The same way those assholes on 9/11 destroyed so many lives and property is the same way this asshole (me) tore apart the lives of the ones closest to him.

    I have said it before, addicts who are using don’t take mates’ THEY TAKE HOSTAGES!

  40. al August 26, 2014 12:14 am

    Hi Robin….I also say it like it is and I agree with Sharon B. and A.P. and even before I read their response to you because I have been in your shoes with a crack addict boyfriend for over 3 years…who also went through my savings, sold my (our, but I paid for it)…motorcycle and smoked it all in one day. I have seen the violent nature that can take over them and WILL if he is now like A.P. said a freight train ready to take anything or anyone out of his way to continue to smoke crack. As A.P. said…his brain is no longer working to make any proper decisions and this is an EXTREMELY dangerous time to be around him. I could have lost my life and had to get my ex out of my house. No THANKFULLY we were not married and I had to call the authorities (the police and show them how he stabbed the sofa with a BIG kitchen knife only inches away from me)…yes, the man I love and still do. I know it is difficult for you because he is your husband (but not right now in this sick body, with his brain cooked)…and I am sure you love him but this is a very dangerous time for you to be around him. Even if you don´t say anything, or do anything wrong…they are like a ticking time bomb and most likely will explode when there is no more money. I would change the locks so he can´t steal anymore and then LEAVE ( don´t do either when he is around). He will NEVER want to leave, and will not…so even if you can not protect your home or valuables…take what you can and get out somewhere where he can´t find you. Even if it is a safe house. I don´t recommend putting your family or friends at risk either,…they seem to always know whether people are telling the truth to them or lying to them to protect themselves and you also don´t want to put friends or family members in jeopardy for their lives or things that he will rob them of either.

    I know this is a difficult situation and my guess is he told you after you got married that he was a crack addict. Maybe not…maybe he was sincere with you if he truly loves you and told you before the marriage. But what do I know or what does it matter in your case now. But it does matter to others who are reading this right now.

    I was also punched in the face while driving. They do not like to hear anything about one abandoning them…so what ever you do…DO NOT MENTION THAT YOU ARE LEAVING…just do it! Things are replaceable, but YOU ARE NOT. I kid you not…this is not a safe time as he is angry with himself that he has blown through all that money and could want to end it for you both…because there is no more money for his habit and they believe they can´t live without it. Please believe me and get out. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE: Put anything of value in a safe place. Do not let your family let him enter their homes either…as they will rob and steal from anyone at this time. It may also be a time of wakening for him if he finds he has no home, no wife or anything left because he is using and THAT is hitting bottom for some like my ex boyfriend….so please take care of yourself and let us know how things turn out. But also PLEASE believe us because you have now heard the same advice from a wife (Sharon B.) who is so nice she lets people know that she can´t tell you what to do…but A.P. (an addict who knows what he is talking about and then some) and myself as the girlfriend whose man that loves me did the same to me…destroying everything in his path like the train that A.P. was talking about.

    I am so glad I did not marry him (he has asked me numerous times, and continues to ask me daily…thinking I guess once they have the ring on your finger…that we won´t leave…but that is wrong too-ask A.P. about this). I could get him out of my home easily with the authorities, but for you unless you explain to them he is stealing for his drug habit and you have lost almost everything except what they see). And be prepared because he will your husband most likely will lie to the the police and say it is his home and so on..and that he does not use drugs, and that you are lying. So if you have proof like bank statements would be a good thing to have to show the police. YES, this has happened to me(where the ONLY way I could get him to leave was to call the police and this has happened more than once! The police told me they didn´t want to see him in our town again!)Thankfully the police knew I was telling the truth and so he had to leave and actually stayed in jail for a few days…all sorry, sorry, sorry. Excuses, excuses, excuses to keep using is all that is and he will manipulate you with lovely words of how much he cares about you, and loves you and I am sure it is true…but an addict on a binge like this or without will do ANYTHING to get what their body and MIND controlled by this drug must do to get it. They are like people who need EXORCISM (because they even start behaving like a demon has possessed them) and nothing you can do or say will make any difference. But YOUR life is most important and he sounds PISSED (and mostly at himself I am sure, but will take it out on anyone in his path)…and so I say GET OUT NOW! My heart goes out to you because I know this is a very difficult time…but you will get through it and hopefully he will get professional help to get his addiction under control. IF he really thinks you may have left and be good to him if you speak with him…that you just don´t want to be around this anymore unless he seeks help…he is on his own and mean it! Otherwise they will just continue to manipulate you into what they want. ME ME ME. I am sure you have heard it. If anything, anything rings true to you about what we are saying then DO GET OUT for the time being anyway. HUGS; STRENGTH, PEACE and we support you in any decision you make…just be safe and find a real good rehab center that specializes in care for crack addiction to leave him the number or direction and let him decide if he wants to go or not. But please don´t choose to live this life…it is HELL! And it does not get better …but then you are in the not better right now, so you know.

    Best of luck to you both. My ex is in a rehab center that is giving him all sorts of understanding about this addiction and other types of bad habits that this drug causes and he is doing very well. So there is hope…do not lose faith. Just protect yourself right now…you are most important right now. Ok? Praying for you both Robin. Be strong, be safe!

  41. Dennis August 28, 2014 12:40 am

    Hello everyone. I randomly stubbled across this page , hoping to gain some insight into my very own dark, jaded life. Im Dennis and no one knows the depths of my shame. As a current secret addict who has been smoking for about 1 year & 1/2. I struggle weekly to maintain sober I’ve been trying to educate myself about addiction and figure out ways I can ” cure myself”. Lol. Obviously its not working.
    I’m 28 years old. I never saw drugs until I was introduced my junior year in college as a psychology major. i did it all alcohol, weed, shrooms, ecxtasy, & cocaine. For a good number of years I was a recreational user, all while I dropped out of school, became a slacker, lost my motivation. For years it was marijuana daily. only using coke, ectasy to party. Eventually my ex introduced me to crack in 2012 Did it a few times never got addicted. Did it a few more times, now 2014 I struggle weekly.. Ive figured out my trigger, which is money. I work in an industry where i get paid in cash nightly and soon as the cash hits my pocket Im calling my dealer. I will ditch all my friends to go get high by myself. Depression much? No one knows the depths of my shame. And my lowest and could not manage to pay my rent , when I had the income to pay it in 1 week. Electricity was off, owed multiple dealers money and lost my job soon after because of my desperation. Stealing gas jugs, scaling barbwire fences, sleeping in my car, asking stranger for gas money, even suicide. But for the most part no one really new because i scored out of town. I had no control then. And all this in less than 2 years. I’d blow all my cash and be broke the very next day with barely any gas in my car.loosing friends, isolating myself, Rent out my car for drugs and be on the streets praying my car gets returned all while my high is coming down. Saying to myself I’m done with this life. 2 days later doing it all over again. On my sober days I get online and read about addiction, rehab, ex addict forums, download NA audios etc..2 days later I’m back chasing the dragon. Theres a part of me that knows im better than this lifestyle. Even street addicts tell me i should stop. I have a good job, decent education, car apartment. Good hygeniene, Daily I have guilt and hope no ones finds out my deepest secret. Then there are times of irrability and rage when I’m sober. The best advice I read was to “Tell Someone” I was close to being evicted and I needed someone to help me. One day my mom came over to my apartment. I barely let her in because I was living without electricity for about 3 days. As she entered I just broke down and partially confessed to her that I was a ” coke” addict, she looked at me strange. She personally doesnt know anything about addiction or drugs. However she did pay my rent, got my lights back on. Whew! I ALMOST lost it all. Since then i landed a better job but cash money is still my trigger. My mother manages my money for rent and utilitiesv. Bit im still have freedom and plenty of extra cash that i cant seem to save! Funny thing is, if I don’t have the money I don’t get a single craving. Sometimes for 2-3 days but when its back to work, I spend the money in my head before I even make it, but I work harder to make more so I can get “Really High”. Im starting to feel like its a Mind thing even though I can physically feel cravings in my stomach . I struggle weekly but I am maintaing. Not really living just maintaing. Working to pay bills & blow the rest on drugs $300-$500 weekly. I feel like this monster lives inside me Help me, I can’t go away to rehab. I need advice. I read about exercising and maybe church. I will try to motivate myself to do those things. I know im better than this, i want to rebuild my life and be able to SAVE money.Thanks for reading no one knows my story, my mom knows partially and no one knows the depths on my shame. Addiction is very real and the compassion and inspiration from you all for us addicts is truly touching.thanks for reading – Dennis form SC

  42. A.P. August 28, 2014 8:58 am

    Hello Dennis from SC
    By SC do you mean South Carolina? If so then we have some history other than our common struggle. Hopefully we can chat about that later. But for now lets get down to the business at hand.

    O.K. first things first. I do know the depths of your pain. Although you may feel all alone right now. I literally took every step with you as I read your post. It was like looking into a mirror of my past. I know the pain, the humiliation, the frustration, the confusion and the feeling of utter hopelessness. I know the misery that comes from knowing full well that you are becoming something that you absolutely despise. But feel totally helpless because you cant stop it from happening. Being a slave to a master that hates you.

    But one of the greatest gifts we have as human beings is the power to reinvent ourselves. The Power To Change. However, it don’t come easy. nothing worthwhile ever does. You will be in for the fight of your life. Because you are fighting for your life.
    So lets not kid ourselves either, we both know that living a dope fiend life is hard work also. With the reward being a dope fiend death. The hard truth is if you continue down the road you are on. Your mother wont even recognize your corpse when she is called to come identify you.

    Now lets get out of the problem, and see if we can get into the solution.
    You identified yourself as a “current secret addict” later you stated that you “partially” confessed to your mom. Knowing that she doesn’t know anything about addiction or crack.
    I would suggest that you start right there. It seems that you and your mom are close and she may be a little naïve. Your addiction knows this also and sees it as both an opening and a weakness. And unfortunately the line between loving and enabling can become blurred. So I suggest that you sit her down and open up Dennis. Not just gloss over it but come clean. Her being your mother she knows something’s not right already. But not willing to fully open her eyes to it. This will help you both. The disease we have feeds on lies,, deception, half-truths and secrets. Its like a fungus, it grows in the dark and hates the light of truth.

    Next, the money thing. This has been mentioned a couple of times recently. Along with the term “babysitting”. You said that you are 28 and started abusing drugs when you were a junior in college. So im guessing around 19. So if you managed to stay awake and focused enough in your psychology classes. You know that the age that we started abusing drugs is the age that we stopped developing emotionally. So like a child we need lots of support before we can stand on our own. Give a child money and send them into the grocery store and tell them get whatever you want. Not many will come out with broccoli and skinless chicken breast. Its going to be candy, chips and cookies. Feel good stuff.

    By the grace of God, the company I keep and the decisions I make. I am coming up on 3 years crack free. Only the last 2 have I been in charge of my own finances. For the first year it was all about getting my legs up under me. What a humbling experience. Just what my ego needed.

    Richard Pryor was one of my favorite comedians. He also was well known for having a notorious crack addiction. I remember seeing him on a late night talk show before he died. His body and his once razor sharp mind were in sever decline. The host asked him what was the worse part about his addiction. Richard thought for a long minute then said “I think the worse part about my addiction was, I could afford it”. That statement blew my mind then and still does today. Which is why I simply refuse to buy a lottery ticket! Maybe someday, but not now. Because I know that with a million dollars. I WILL BE DEAD IN LESS THAN A WEEK!!!

    You don’t strike me as a addict in denial Dennis. So you have already cleared one huge hurdle. Remember, part of a mans strength is knowing his weakness.

    So I will shut up for now. But if you choose to, we have a lot to talk about. In the meantime, try not to put any more quarters in that ass-kicking machine.

  43. sharon b August 28, 2014 9:06 am

    First Dennis, God Bless you. If you have read through the posts here, you will know that we do not judge you but try to support you. Also, you will know that until you hit rock bottom you will continue to use. Briefly, my husband is an addict who had been two years clean now. He is 60 years old and looks and acts 20 years older. His physical health is shot, his teeth are ruined, he does not have a pot to piss in. He wasted 40 years of his life getting high, with a 10 year break, which is when I met him. He did not tell me he used crack, just said there was some cocaine use, like you told your mom. I met him when he was almost 8 years sober and a very active member of a support group. I felt then that he would not ever use again. One week before we got married, his trigger (hearing in a meeting about someone’s crack use) was activated and boy it was off to the races. Of course he did not tell me and I married him. I found out three months later when I saw some pipes he had hidden and then checked our credit card statement. He had been using the CC to get cash and hoped I would not check. I immediately kicked him out, changed the locks, canceled all CC”s, took all the money from checking account and opened another without him, ect ect to protect myself. After months of therapy, a supportive priest and sponser and seemingly millions of hours of talk, I agreed to let him back in. Since then he has no CC, his vehicle is in my name, he has no money since I manage it all and I basically know where he is every minute of the day. Some life huh? I am babysitter. For the first time in two years, I went last weekend with my GF to a getaway and he remained sober. I am happy you are not married because the addiction kills us too. Now back to you since you know the basics of my story….you cannot do this by yourself. You need to tell someone the truth ( your mom?) and get some professional help. I know your intentions are good to quit, they always are, but until you change your people, places and things and hit your bottom, you will not be succesful in kicking this horrible thing. You are probably thinking oh but what about my job and the embarrassment of telling people and how can I just leave the world as I know it…well babe, think of it in another way. What about my health and my sanity and my family and loved ones. At some point, this thing will either kill you, you will do awful things to support the habit (read AP’s posts) and you will be on the streets hustling with nothing but your love of getting high on crack. But if none of this means anything to you because crack is your love and your mistress and your god, then you have not reached your bottom and anything any of say, your loved ones say, anybody says, means nothing. You need to admit you are powerless over this horrible thing and reach out for help. My heart literally broke as your told your story, but quite honestly Dennis, you are not unique. I have heard your story a million times, from a million addicts and it is always the same. This thing grabs you and before you know what hit you, you are its whore. Will do anything for the next hit. My heart goes out to you, but that means nothing either. Get some help, tell one person who can be there for you and know that there are legions of people like me who are willing to listen and pray and love you. Sharon B

  44. sharon b August 28, 2014 9:11 am

    AP, I was writing my post to Dennis as you were and then I read yours and we said the same thing… See Dennis, not only do addicts same the same, but we who love addicts say it too. Ap is very wise and has been there. If my post meant nothing, re-read his. He knows, he has been there and he told it like it was. Please please take his words to heart and tell you mom and then get some professional help. With all that I have in me, I am praying for you. Love and peace to all

  45. August 28, 2014 9:13 am

    Wow – this mirrors my life about 8 years ago now. Get to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting immediately, just show up and start listening, you don’t need to speak or share anything until you’re ready. I was 35 when I first used, and crack was what I settled on as drug of choice…just devastating, you think you’re experience is different, then you will hear from someone in same situation at these meetings. I never participated in a full recovery program, but I used these meetings regularly and even did 90 in 90 days as recommended. I never even got a sponsor, but all of those people helped me tremendously and saved my life. I still go occasionally, 1-2 times a year almost always when I’m out of town. These 7 stages REALLY HELPED too.
    My mom was the last to know, read this and let this be your bottom:

  46. A.P. August 28, 2014 8:23 pm

    Wow, that is amazing Sharon!!!! Thanks for the kind words.

  47. Dennis August 29, 2014 12:57 am

    Thank you A.P. Sharon and Anon 543 for your responses. I feel a little better knowing I’m not alone in this fight. I intend to take a piece of each of your responses. I’m definitely ready to change my surroundings and join a NA program. My mom has been pushing NA on me for a few weeks now. haven’t had the balls to go. Yet. Ready to take that step. Anon543 the CNN article made me see myself differently. I don’t won’t my Mom feeling that way about me. Great read.
    As of today I am 3 days crack free! Praying that I make it through the weekend. Marijuana helps ease the anxiety, however I need to quit that as well. A.P. congrats on your 3 years and counting. I could only imagine 3 years clean, but I know that it is possible through your testimony. I refuse to be a slave to a master that hates me any longer. Sharon thank you for your words. I’m ready for real help and refuse to go back to rock bottom. And thank you for reassuring me I am not alone. Your words touched me. Soon I will have more time to write you guys, but I just wanted to take time out to thank you all for listening to me. Your messages have been my inspiration for today!

  48. al August 29, 2014 6:56 pm

    Hi Dennis and all,

    I just want to add my two cents in as you sound like a very educated person with a conscience still. I am sure the guilt, the shame, the looking for the drug, the lies, and not being able to stop is eating you alive. I want to say…be grateful you still have a conscience, a mind and the desire to want to stop left in you. Because this drug will take even your soul away soon if you don´t. Like Sharon B. said…your entire health will go. I have been involved as the full time (24/7) girlfriend of a crack addict for over 3 years. It has been shear hell. He is turning 31 next week. And he has been consuming for a long time. The sooner you decide to get REAL help the better it will be …because…the longer you consume more neurons in your brain are being destroyed and you will get to a point where they won´t charge at all and take over your life entirely. Being a slave to the dragon. Not able to make a correct decision in your life and one can become dangerous even to their loved ones. Read back regarding our posts. My ex boyfriend is a very good person like yourself and had his own secrets for many years. He came clean with me about everything and now he is on the road to recovery! It is really going to take him a long time though because he consumed much longer than you. I want to give you hope though.

    He too used marijuana to take the edge off. To try to rid him of the anxiety attacks or when he felt them coming and just knew he was going to start riding me and he loves me a lot and is one of the reasons he is going to follow through with his treatment. He has now been in a live in facility called Light and Love. They give them all sorts of treatment from telling their past…learning how one started, what it does to the brain, one´s behaviors, why one can´t hold down a job (which will eventually happen to you if you don´t get help), why money triggers things, etc. etc.

    My ex always went off when he had money and he had it…because he stole it from me. And would lie to me and let me think I lost it! Do you know what it feels like when you think you have lost your mind? It was horrible for me to live like this every week and the only person he was fooling was himself. But we as loved ones suffer many of the same symptoms you do because we have to live with it too. It is not fair to put those closest to you in that addiction stage. But then you may never find another human being to love you as he found everyone wanted NOTHING to do with him as the word was out and he couldn´t find a job, no one wanted to help him with housing because they knew he would steal from them…as any helping hand that came his way-the drug made him take advantage of all those good people. THAT¨S when he hit rock bottom as he is a sensitive person and when I wanted nothing more to do with him either…he knew that no one would. He didn´t want to lose his chance to be with the one person who truly still saw the good in him. He is extremely talented and they gave him a leave of absence because he is in the top of his class of rehab where there are 40 men. I still have my doubts though and so NO SEX for him until he completes this treatment. I have never been a person to hold out…and believe me it is hard for me too! But I won´t do a thing that may screw up his success in completing this goal. He knows that this disease is now a lifelong challenge but he is smart and God willing as YOU need GOD on your side (never been a religious person, so to speak) but they have them very entrenched with becoming a good law abiding kind human being as part of their treatment and so this helps and believing in something other than yourself which the drug makes you think of only yourself…but don´t kid yourself…IT IS KILLING YOU!

    His therapist explained to me that the neurons in the brain do not even allow you to make a good decision or understand consequences or anything, because the neurons have been so affected in the brain by this drug that you need 45 days clean of EVERYTHING including marijuana as you said you know you have to quit too, and even cigarettes (had no idea that this too was included) to help the neurons start to fire again. They won´t work correctly until the 2 yr mark however so it is so important that you not only go to NA which of course I have attended….but seek professional help as well.

    As for telling someone…please listen to both A.P. and Sharon B. as they both said to sit your mom down and don´t sugar coat it anymore because then you are still lying to her and yourself. If you want real help…seek it! Don´t make any excuses, NONE. That was always the case with my ex. One excuse after another, one lie after another, one theft after another, all B fricken S! Although I love him immensely and put up with a lot, I could no longer live a life of BS! So don´t think she ( your mom) is completely blind to this…but how can either of you receive REAL help if you don´t know what you are actually dealing with? My ex was in a rehab of sorts for 15 days each time…and did well there too. The minute he got out he wanted to smoke weed, then it was crack all over again and didn´t stop. He now knows that that was never a real rehab treatment for him and getting the physical, emotional, spiritual support and intellectual that he needed is what is helping him now. Really it is. He now can set goals, accomplish them quickly and no longer lies to himself or makes excuses and is living a life of truth.

    I have one more thing to add from reading your story Dennis. If money is a trigger for you then with the help of your mom, or your employer, just ask to have someone else save it for you if you really want to SAVE as you said. You said you don´t have a desire when you don´t have money…then don´t have money! Stay clean for more than 45 days and then see how your brain functions! If you can´t do 45 days, and/or still can´t operate correctly in your mind or stay away from using that way,…then DO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP!

    I love my ex boyfriend and want more than anything to be with a crack FREE (as your are a slave, and my ex got to the point of needing an exorcist, yes, that bad)PERSON, who I just can´t live without( I have problems sleeping at night without him by my side, etc). But I do not want to have anything to do with him if he continues to use and he knows it. I don´t want people to push you away either…and it will come to that if you don´t do something about it NOW.

    All the best to you Dennis. You can feel free to say what ever you want with us. As Sharon B. said there is no judging, we have heard it all before, and then some. A.P. is here to assist you always and we all want every addict to feel free to comment and hear what´s up. We are here to help you our new friend. You are not alone, and your secret is safe with us, until you want to tell someone else …and when that time is IT for you, then just DO IT! Do it though before you have no one that wants to be around you, or if you must hit major rock bottom where everyone turns their back on you so be it. But hopefully you will get help before it comes to that.

    Love, peace, prayers for a better life!

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