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Ask Michelle - Questions & Answers about Meth Addiction and Recovery

  • Apr

    Dealing With My Partners Ongoing Struggle With Addiction

    I am desperate to find some direction in a situation that has gone from bad to horrible, and now I feel completely defeated. My partner of over 20 years has an ongoing struggle with addiction. Her addiction to drugs became active about 7 years ago when my mom became terminally ill and I chose to be her primary caretaker. Mom was 1000 miles away from our home, so I had to maintain my part in two households by all aspects. As a result, my partner and I sacrificed most of our material things (boat, vacation home, etc.). The stress of it all led to her use of cocaine and opiates. That led to a binge where she almost died, only being saved by a 911 call. My solution was to pick up and move a few hours away to a town where her sister lives. We have struggled since. She has used different types of speed since we have been here and most recently, I suspected she was using meth. After educating myself about signs, symptoms and the related, it started looking like not only was she using meth, but possibly trying to make it. I confronted her, she denied using ANYTHING. She finally agreed to take an at home urine test. It showed positive for amphetamines. She said someone at work gave her a prescription diet pill a week and a half ago. I know this does not add up in relation to time, etc. I decided to put myself first since I knew she was using something and IF she was trying to make drugs, I did not want anything to do with her or the drugs. I called the city police and pretty much got dismissed, but threatened of personal. So I called the sheriff and in spite of their apparent "don't really care" attitude, they met me at our house and I showed them the things I was suspicious of. Their response was it could be, maybe, but probably not because there is no elaborate laboratory set up in the house. My partner came home while they were here and gave them the diet pill story and all was dismissed. In having nowhere to go, we both stayed at home. She decided she wanted to talk to me. She told me she did lie to me, that she had been taking these diet pills on a regular basis, but she did not see them as anywhere near being a problem... especially nothing like horrible meth. Supposedly she had not had anything in 4 days, but the signs of being high were so obvious even during our conversation. She said sorry, she said she wants to be clean; she said she knows she needs help... but she also expressed anger at me calling the authorities because now they will be watching our house and us. To me, that is not necessarily a bad thing because I would rather they watch the house; I have nothing to hide. It concerns me that she is bothered by it. Over the past 9+ months she has developed these severe muscle ticks and jerks in her shoulder, jaw and arms. Her thinking is rational one minute and irrational the next. Her anger is explosive and frequent. Her teeth are really bad yet she makes excuses to cancel dental appointments I've made for her. She has a part time job that pays her through a debit card account and makes excuses about why I can't keep a ledger of it or include it in our finances. She has these sinus "attacks" but only at certain times like when she comes out of the bathroom. I am now considered paranoid and down-right crazy by her family and the local law enforcement because they think I am falsely accusing her. Yet, none of them can explain all the signs and things that are present. I have spent the last couple of months looking for explanations that will disprove the possibility of her using drugs and especially the possibility of her making them. I have resigned myself to the fact that there is nothing more I can do but put up with all of it and pray that I at least have the argument of trying to report suspected illegal activity in my home in the event that drugs are eventually found. Am I wrong in thinking that there is more to the story than a few prescription diet pills her co-worker has given her? Does there have to be a science lab present for evidence that someone has tried to make drugs? Is there any way to test a suspicious residue (like a Damp Rid container that the crystals have turned a brown-orange color) I've found? Her family has put the idea in her head to get a hair follicle test done so that I can be proven as the "stupid, crazy, b-----" that I am; Is this test reliable and available for a personal test? Is there any mental disease (other than addiction) or defect that could mimic the signs of meth use and/or the effects of exposure to the residual elements and fumes from "cooking"? I really appreciate any information, direction or reference links you may have.



    I know this is extremely hard on you and I'm sorry to hear about your mom. Unfortunately addiction is a selfish disease and an individual that's using drugs or addicted to them will rarely be honest about their use. It's also very normal for a person to express anger when they're confronted about their substance use. Until an addict is ready to seek help for their addiction most people are very strong in their own denial when it comes to use and dependence, so they're definitely going to be in denial with others.

    We know by now that you don't have to have an elaborate setup to make meth today, unfortunately it's as easy as using a few chemicals and a soda bottle. The symptoms you talk about muscle twitching, anger, etc. are all signs related to substance abuse and bad teeth are a definite sign of meth abuse. I agree with you that there is more going on than just a few prescription diet pills and no, as stated above, you don't have to have a science lab in order to make meth.

    I'm not sure about the Damp Rid container as far as testing it but when I searched I did find the information that follows on

    This was a question on their site: Why does the Damp Rid turn brownish, orange, reddish, pinkish, or other colors?

    Their answer: Salts that aren't food grade typically have trace amounts of other minerals in them, which can, with time and moisture, cause a muddy looking buildup on top of the crystals. This buildup can be rinsed off with water, or left until the crystals have dissolved away entirely. Discoloration like this from impurities is unproblematic and does not affect the way the DampRid crystals perform.

    As far as hair follicle testing, according to drugs like cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine's, marijuana, phencyclidine, amphetamines, and ecstasy are drugs that hair samples may be able to provide evidence of. As far as hair follicle tests being reliable, I can't really say for sure.

    I know this is difficult for you and I also understand your fears and concerns for your partner but you need to seek guidance and support for yourself right now. Addiction affects everyone and it's equally important that you receive some kind of help and support for yourself. Hopefully if your partner sees you seeking guidance and support, she will too. If not, you have to take care of yourself so you can deal with the issues at hand right now.

    Nar-Anon is a 12 step program for people that are affected by someone else's addiction. There you are surrounded by people who understand what you're going through and can relate to many of the same problems and fears you have. 12 step support meetings aren't for everyone and if this isn't something you're comfortable with, seeking guidance from a counselor or therapist that specializes in addiction can make a big difference and help guide you in the right direction as far as finding help for your partner.

    I wish I could be of more help but it does sound like your partner has a substance abuse problem even if she is taking diet pills.

Resources and Reference

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