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”

878 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.

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