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How My Boyfriend's Addiction Started After He Got Back From Serving in Iraq

by Krista
(Traverse City, MI)

I've been with my fiancé for almost three years now. He was infantry in the army. He got blown up in Iraq and ever since he's been addicted to pain pills. It doesn't matter what it is he'll take it. He goes from doctor to doctor to get whatever he can.

I didn't think it was a big deal at first till he started drinking and taking the pills. He ended up going to jail for 8 months. I waited for him to get out thinking he would be better. He was sober until he moved 2 hours away where he started hanging out with people who did heroin, coke, meth and pills. He stopped calling me for about 4 months while he was doing drugs and I sat there and wondered if he was ok, we were still together at the time.

His mom called me one night to tell me he ended up in the hospital for an overdose on heroin. He had been so bad he had dime sized holes in his arms from shooting up, and he looked horrible. He denied to me that he wasn't doing that. He then went to the psych ward in battlecreek for PTSD and was there for 2 and a half weeks. Two days after I had got him he went to the doctor for oxy because of his injuries in Iraq.

He then hid needles from me that he bought and shot up the oxy he had done more than 16 pills that night and then left with some friends and took one of his needles with him that he tried to hide from me. He left his stuff there so I threw the rest of them away and he didn't even come back to the hotel like he promised and I thought something had happened to him.

I might be pregnant with his kid and I'm scared that he isn't gonna be there for me. He really wants this kid but I want him to be sober. He said he does this because it keeps the hurt from coming back. He's still having flash backs from Iraq and it's hurting so this is how he deals with his pain. I don't know what to do anymore.

He's called me once in the past 3 weeks and I haven't seen him since the night I brought him the rest of his pills. Is there anyway I can help him?

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Your boyfriend needs help
by: C-P

None of us can even begin to imagine the horrors your boyfriend would have witnessed while serving in Iraq, let alone what it must have done to him to have been badly physically hurt. That doesn't excuse his addiction, but means he needs to get professional care and treatment to help him deal with his addictions and the PTSD. Whether he's ready to accept help is another thing entirely, but you can only encourage and try and support him in doing so. But you also need to be careful to ensure you ultimately do what is best for you if your boyfriend doesn't change and gets the help he needs - because there is no way you can have a healthy relationship with someone stuck in the middle of an active addiction. Yes, it is okay to empathise with what he's been through, even though someone who hasn't been there will never be able to truly understand. But that doesn't mean you have to accept his destructive behaviour because your boyfriend also needs to learn that at some point he has to try and make peace with what has happened, rather than drown everything out with drugs. I really hope he gets through this and be sure to take care of yourself

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