How to Leave a Drug Addict Boyfriend, Spouse, or Child | You Deserve Help and Happiness

It’s a sad story that has been repeated far too many times. A young woman sits at a computer, furtively typing, “how to leave a drug addict boyfriend,” looking for help, and praying no one sees what she’s looking for. Or a man collects his young children and leaves the house until his spouse comes down from her high, shakes her hallucinations, and stops screaming. Addiction doesn’t only harm the addict; all too frequently, it turns the lives of family and friends into waking nightmares. A rehabilitation facility can help lead the addict to recovery, but if they have no interest in getting well, it may be time for you to leave.

How to Let Go of an Addict You Love

Many individuals remain involved in an addict’s life even as they’re wondering how to leave. A drug addict may act in ways that are far removed from the person you once knew, but you might continue to stay. Some people may feel that their presence is the only thing keeping the addict from becoming suicidal or homeless. Others may be afraid to restart life on their own or to take a chance at finding love and companionship a second time, despite living only in a shell of the life they had before addiction entered.

Deciding and figuring out how to let go of an addict you love may be painful, but it might also be the best possible thing you could do for both yourself and the addict. Partners all too frequently end up cleaning up after the addict, whether in terms of physical messes or shattered social relationships. Their compassion and empathy turn them into enablers, which allows the addict to continue using with no consequences. Without someone to hide the evidence of their addiction, the addict must confront their life and the fact that the responsibility to change rests solely with them. As for the former partner, many previous husbands and wives report feelings of freedom and self-respect after the mourning period ends. Sometimes, partners get back together after the addict gets sober. Sometimes, they don’t.

The Hard Part: How to Leave a Drug Addict

Boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, son or daughter, removing yourself from the life of an addict you care deeply for is never easy. Before you broach the topic, consider the following questions:

  • Are you serious about leaving? If you threaten to leave but then continue to stick around, the addict learns that they can continue to depend on you to help support their addiction.
  • Will there be any future contact? Under what circumstances? For many spouses, contact is contingent on whether or not the addict dedicates themselves to getting well.
  • Is there any material or legal concerns that should be addressed? Whether it’s custody of a child or ending a lease, there may be some legal considerations to take into account. Do your research and know how to take care of each one.
  • How will you tell them? Whether it’s in person, over the phone, or in a safe, public place, decide beforehand how you will tell the addict that you are leaving. Be sure to consider your own safety.

Once you have made a plan, stick with it. There will inevitably be a period after the separation where you feel sad, frustrated, or angry, and you may even be tempted to return to the addict. Get the therapy you need to work through your emotions and take care of yourself first.

Need Professional Advice on Addiction Recovery?

At WhiteSands Treatment Center, we offer advice and counseling at our private rehab center. You can always call our phone line, which is staffed 24/7. You can also fill out the form here for a confidential response from one of our addiction specialists. If you’d like more information on treatment options, we offer a free clinical assessment designed to help you find the best solution for your unique situation.

No one deserves to live in an environment of fear and pain. If you’re ready to leave, we’re here to help.