“Found” a pill in his bag




Boyfriend of 3 years, been trying to stay clean for the past year and a half - relapse over and over again. After a blow out in April where he was away and relapsed using cocaine and calling escorts “just for the rush” and not meeting them(?), he used oxycotin here and there as well. After this, as a major point where I moved out all of my things from our apartment - from what I know he has been clean and wanting to be - but the morning of my birthday in august, we were away together, he was in the bathroom and I felt suspicious Bc I could see through the crack of the door and he was bent towards in the counter. I opened the door and he was about to snort an OxyContin. The morning of my birthday! He immediately discarded of it and told me he found it in the corner of one of his travels bags the night before and kept it thinking about it all night. He said he went into “default mode” and just began to crush the pill to snort without thinking. He claims thank God I stopped him because that would have ruined his “clean streak” since April. I am crushed and lost so much more trust in him that we have been working to build. He tells me how committed he is to being clean and this was the first time he found a pill and didn’t know how to react in his presence, claiming now if it ever happened again then he would just not touch it and tell me or his sponsor first

Anwys, after this all happened, he was just crying and then another half of a pill fell out of the bag and he began crying more saying how bad this is making him look but states he did not know that was in there and truly didn’t pack any with him for the trip. I am suspicious. He called his sponsor after and has apologized endlessly stating he wants to attend more meetings and is “happy he is still clean since I stopped him”… for me, moving forward is so hard when I am scares this can happen again or if he is lying? I love him and I fear so much over this life after trying to be there with him through his going on since October 2019. Any advice from this whole situation? Can he stay clean from just attending meetings?


Hi @Pasta - thanks for your question. I know it’s been a little while since you posted, how are things going now?

Firstly, it can be helpful to reframe slips and relapses as an indication that something is not working. With this reframe we can get curious about what might not be working. We can assess, what was working before (if anything) and what is not working now? And we can take the slip as an indication that more support is needed. So we can start moving into conversations around: What additional support would be helpful right now?

Another good question: How would you like me to respond when I find you using? Can help us know what will be useful to them in that moment. We can also have a response for finding them using, and one for when the situation is less heightened to get into more of a problem solving mode.

It’s also helpful to have a plan for yourself. What can you do to take extra care of yourself when you’re faced with a slip - which can be a very stressful time for us.

Some helpful relapse response plans include:

  1. How you’ll take care of you
  2. How you’ll respond in the moment
  3. How you’ll come together to discuss at a less intense moment after the event
  4. The intention that you’re both trying to find what works for their recovery
  5. The common understanding that a slip indicates something isn’t working

Regarding your question about whether meetings are enough. People recover in all different kinds of ways. A slip is an indication that more support is needed so it would be worth having a conversation with him about what more support he thinks would be useful - and stating the facts that what you’re doing right now isn’t working, so let’s try something new, because we can’t expect different results if we keep doing the same things.

It’s useful to set goals in small time increments, say a week, and try something and if it doesn’t work, try something else! That can be a nice thing to communicate to - “if you try it and hate it you never have to do it again!” We’re searching for what works and to do more of those things!

Some resources for you below:

  • You might find this module really helpful on Recovery & Relapse.
  • We also have our next Group Course starting up this week (Tuesday September 7th @ 7-8pm EST) so it’d be the perfect time to join with peers and expert coach to learn these skills and the rest of our proven framework to use in your relationship - you can sign up for the Group Course HERE


Should I reach out to his parents