BF is using drugs

Annie Lane, syndicated columnist

Dear Annie: I’m worried that my boyfriend is abusing his prescription drugs. He goes for days without taking them and then takes several times the recommended doses all at once. He says he likes the intense rush he feels when he takes them this way. (They’re stimulants.) I’ve expressed concern repeatedly. Every few months, things get really bad, and he vows to cut back. But after a couple of weeks, it’s back to the same scary routine. It makes me so sad to see him treating his body and mind this way. The past six months has been exhausting for me, and I’m about ready to give up. Is there anything I can do to help him stop, or is he a lost cause? I’ve been thinking about issuing an ultimatum: It’s me or the drugs. — Very Worried in Virginia

Dear Very Worried: Your boyfriend is definitely abusing his prescription drugs. He is deliberately taking them in a way that is inconsistent with the way his doctor prescribed them to achieve a high. That is textbook abuse. He needs to seek help for his problem. You can encourage him to do so, but you can’t make him.

Nothing you do can control his addiction, not even an ultimatum — though you can certainly still give him one, for your own sake. It should be said more as a statement of fact than as a threat: “I can’t be with you if you continue to abuse drugs.” Only say this if you really mean it; otherwise, you’d end up undermining yourself.

Remember that you can’t live your life around another person’s addiction — though I know that’s easier said than done. You might find some strength and comfort through Nar-Anon, a 12-step program for the family and friends of addicts.

Find a meeting in your area at

Editor’s note: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to