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Functioning Meth Addicts - How long can they live like this?

functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
I am new here and because of how helpful and nice everyone sounds, I decided to post today.

6 months ago I found out my neighbor (she is a wife & mother) smokes meth. Without getting too detailed and going on and on....lets just say that the drug makes her cheat on her husband. I think it is possible that she has been doing this drug for at least 4 years OR MORE.(we have been neighbors for about 17 years and good friends "I thought" for probably the last 5)

For the most part, when I am(was)around her, she is a very happy outgoing person(always laughing)...the kind you want to be around. But now I know it's not a natural high...it's the drug. I always felt like she was "working me" and now I know I was being manipulated. Why? to get to my husband...she is in the process of [b]breaking up another family[/b](cheating)at this point in time. She is like a sexual preditor..grooming her victim with attention, compliments etc...I am not sure at this time if my husband was already lured into her trap (my husband doesnt use drugs)he denies that anything ever happened between them. She uses a "victim" boo hoo thing...her husbands an achoholic, never pays attention to me, treats me bad...on and on...

My husband just found out also about her drug use (from me) I dont know if he believed it at first. But because of her past behavior with him...I have had to cut off all ties with her and her family (including the kids)I dont want her around him (visa/versa)ever again

I am currently in contact with another wife whos husband [b]is[/b] cheating with my neighbor (that husband uses meth also)
So they meet to smoke and are having an affair. The wife as of Monday said she was getting a restraining order and kicking him out..he said he would stop but he/they did not.(I believe that she has done this before...but not sure how many other families/husbands she has cheated with)

I would like to have sympathy for her/their drug use...but it is impossible to feel that way because of the cheating,flirting,lying, manipulating way she has used me. She was supposed to be my friend...but what kind of friend tries to get your husband to cheat? Right under your nose... (this IS happening, so dont try to ask me if there is some sort of mistake)

My question...how long can a functioning addict..function?? I have seen sores on her face (havent talked to her in 6 months, so dont know what she looks like now)According to my friend with the restraining order, her husband also works at his job without anyone knowing..she says [i]they know just[/i] [i]how much[/i] drug to do..and if they cant sleep..then they smoke a little weed...

I read a full blown addiction can take over 2 years...but how long before it really shows?? If my neighbor has been doing this for 4 years (maybe started with snorting it and then started smoking)Cant her family tell something is wrong...they know she got caught doing meth...cant they tell she has NOT stopped?? and how long can she be all laughie/gigglie...you hear so much about the bad moods and anger (this is why my friend is getting the restraining order, because her husb is getting violent)how long before she starts seeing things, or gets jittery and all the other signs that I read about...

thank you for reading my vent/story... and I will come back tomorrow
I know I have probably asked the same old questions-but I have tried to go back and read old posts and it takes sooo long to read everythink with dialup. By the way, we are all in our late 40's

signed smalltowngirl (is really POd)

ps the husband(neighbor) took his wife(my neighbor)to church and had her confess her sins of drug use (oh, but not adultery ha,she told him she was only doing the drug-they were caught tog.in a motel room)so he thinks she has been cured.
Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
Gosh, can't answer so many ?'s. But I wanted to respond. I clicked out. Then said no, you deserve a responce. So here goes. I am sad for you, for us and all who have been through this. There is no easy answers. Venting here is good and I beleive healthy for all of us. I can't answer the ?'s you posted, I can only hurt with you. It's so hard and so many of us have lived through and are living through what you wrote. I will encourage you to stick around. As you said it's helpful just to know others are out there. I am one of them. I hope you feel free to come here any time to vent and share what you will and have learned. Thanks for posting where you are.
Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
My husband is a meth addict who also cheated with the neighborhood addict/slut. He used for 10 years, before that it was coke. Lost a great job to coke but got another great job right after, still has it. He had sores, other signs of use, but I was too deep in denial to see them. I didn't see it until he was busted on the cheating and took so much meth he was in psychosis.

If I were you I'd find out if your husband is using (ask him, or pop a drug test on him), and I'd go have yourself tested for HIV, STD's, and HepC. This woman shouldn't be your main focus, it should be yourself and how you are going to deal with what you know, what you don't know, and what you may never know---and how you want to live the rest of your life. There are no easy answers. I believed that cheating could be forgiven, but what couldn't be lived with was continuous lying and lies and the expectation that I would live HIS lie for the rest of my life. So I left.

Best wishes to you.
TnSkye Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
My husband has been a functioning addict for around 20 years. He's lost everything more than once, but always manages to have everyone's sympathy and goes on going on. He and his sister are addicts and no one knows. They are 37 and 39.
Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
depends on how good they are "functioning" on it...i've been using meth on & off for 15 years...been a real "functioning addict" for the past 6 years...and i cant do it anymore...i'm trying to find a place to go for treatment...i have a 40 hr week job...a job that is respected in the community...raise 2 daughters, have a home, a vehicle...doesnt that sound lovely? it should...all of that is real except me. all you hear about meth is true...meth is a living hell for anyone around it...do what ever you have to do to keep it away from yourself as fast as you can.
25 years
no more
Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
I was a functional addict for 25 years. I never lost anything. My home life appeared perfectly normal to anyone looking in. My children were always clean and on time. I never looked like a user, or showed any outward signs of drug abuse. I once had a therapist tell my fiance that if he was going to wait for me to hit rock bottom, that he would be waiting for a very long time (and that was almost 20 years ago). Some of us just never hit rock bottom, which unfortunately allows us to continue to use for ungodly lengths of time.
Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
hi smalltown. my name is scooter, welcome to the message board. if you stay here you will learn a lot and meet many different people going through the same things. i'm currently recovering from my 2 year battle with meth. age is just a number, but i'm sure being an addict at 40 is different from being an addict as a teenager. besides, anyone here will tell you i'm the oldest 17 year old they know.

but anyway... function smunction! nobody is a functioning addict.

excuse me, let me rephrase that- nobody is a functioning addict, for long. in my opinion. :]

since she is a wife and a mother, she probably has a bit of experience with meth and if she wants to continue using, then i hate to say it but that's what she's going to do. an addict isn't concerned with anything other than their addiction.

oh, and sympathy garbage.. 4 years is too long. although the answer to your question solely depends on who, how much, how often, mood, etc etc etc. it sounds like things have already gone further than they should have and i think you or somebody needs to let her family know.

um, are you the only one that knows all of this? please tell somebody as soon as possible. but first, learn everything you possibly can about this drug.
imlostinky Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
Why she uses or for how long she can use and get away with it shouldn't be your concern.You no longer see her as your friend and she has not behaved as such.
And it isn't the drugs that make anyone cheat.
Sorry, I know there are those that disagree but I stand by my belief here.
I have used, I did not cheat- my husband has used, he did not cheat, my sister used and did not cheat- the ones I have seen use and cheat were already cheating before use.
That is my experience.

She isn't making your husband do jack. Your husband is grown- what you need to figure out is why is some woman other than you able to make your husband feel good about himself?
Where are you and why haven't you?
Why is some woman even calling your husband?
Is some man calling you?
Then why is she?

So sad too bad- she needs someone else to be comforting her- not your man.
That is where you went wrong- she needs help with repairs, send a repair man - not your husband.

And one more thing on this part- why should the kids be punished? they have nothing to do with it.How is that their fault?

Now you need to focus on what is happening in your own house- nobody takes what isn't there for the taking.
Sorry but they can't.
Is your husband using? How do you know? Have you asked?
Have you looked? Have you even considered the possibility?

Time for a good look at what is going on with you and your home. Somewhere you blinked - time to wake up.

We did have neighbors across the street much like your "friend" - yes she too was a user and always looking for a sugar daddy.
Yes she gave it her best shot for my husband- she failed.
Why? Because my husband didn't need soothing, he didn't need her stroking his ego- That was /is my job.I got it covered- thanks but no thanks.Fly away little one- no help needed here.
Yes, she had her share of boyfriends- I even saw her alcoholic control freak husband sit outside at the picnic table with one of her boyfriends.
It didn't seem to bother him - wasn't none of my business.

And it had nothing to do with the kids. Their boys came over to play hung out at our house - not their problem - and no way was anybody here going to say anything bad about their Mom.
Not here.
Wasn't my place and even if it was , I wouldn't have.
I didn't have to be friends with their mom - she wasn't part of the package.
I didn't have to be friends with their dad- he wasn't part of the package.
They are friends with my children, my boys- that friendship still continues.
Even after mom and dad divorced and moved out.
Their marriage was not my business- had nothing to do with nothing.
It still doesn't.

JMO and my experience.
imlostinky Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?


function smunction! nobody is a functioning addict.

Scooter, you had it right the first time.
There is no function in addiction.
Only an illusion of function- that is all.
Somewhere somebody is paying the price.
It only looks like they have it all- they don't.
25 years
no more
Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
I also believe that if you keep your man happy at home then he will turn an offer down every time (unless he is a lowlife or an addict). I had a naked woman (who was supposedly a friend of mine)offer my husband anything that he wanted two weeks before our wedding and he turned her down and told me about it. We are no longer friends, but I am still close with her daughter Michele. As far as being a functional addict, you are right NO meth addict is REALLY functional. I just APPEARED to others to be functional, but I really wasn't functioning at all. Most of the day was spent on automatic pilot, so if something changed, it really through a wrench into things for me. Everything appeared okay on the outside to others, but my family, husband, and my two young daughters have suffered immensely over the years. My mother whom I had taken care of for over 20 years, finally got sick of it all and moved to Washington to be near my brother. If I had a nickel for every time that I had told my mother that I was on automatic pilot and not to bother me, I would be rich. My brother and I hadn't spoken for years because every time that we did talk all we would do is argue. My husband was an ex coke addict before we met, so he knew that HE could not make me quit unless I wanted to quit. He once told me that he was leaving me and taking the girls. My oldest daughter who was 10 years old at the time wanted to go with him, but my youngest daughter wanted to stay with me. He did not want to break up the family, especially not the girls, so he just kept hoping that one day I would get sick of it and quit. My daughters unfortunately suffered the most damage of all. A mother on meth, is like having no mother at all. In fact, it is worse than having no mother at all. My daughters had to deal with all of my mood swings, anger that seemed to come out of nowhere, and also had to deal with things like why doesn't our mother ever want to spend any time with us, we must be bad children. All of my energy was used just to keep up the outward appearance. Inside our home should have been condemned as a health hazard. I have been clean now for about 20 months, and I am still hearing about the damages that my meth use has caused. For the 15 years prior to my quitting meth there were only two people besides my family who knew that I was a meth addict. Those two people were my dealer and my ex friends daughter Michele. I have a few friends who are in law enforcement whom we spend all of the major holidays with who were shocked when I told them that I was a meth addict. And they were even more shocked to hear that I had been doing it for 25 years. Looking back at things now they admit that they should have recognised the signs, but may have overlooked them because they were not looking for the signs in me. I told them that I wanted to stop, but that I didn't know how to stop. They advised me to sign myself into a treatment center for 30-90 days(preferably 90 days)because they said that the odds were stacked against my being able to quit on my own. When I discussed the matter with my husband and daughters, my youngest daughter who was just 6 years old at the time begged me not to leave her. She promised me that SHE would help me quit at home. I wanted to try to stop on my own and my friends agreed, but they made me promise that if I could not do it on my own that I would sign myself into a local treatment center for help. I agreed. They said that they would get the girls to and from school every day and would watch them until my husband got home from work, so that I would not have to worry about the girls. I agreed. I told them that I had made a promise to my youngest daughter that I would not leave her, and that I intended to keep my promise to her. Mothers on meth break most (if not all)of the promises that they make to their children, and I was no different. This was a promise that I intended to keep, as I had been breaking promises to her for her WHOLE lifetime, and she was counting on me THIS time. A couple of weeks later I quit, but it only lasted for about two weeks. My daughters were heartbroken. About a week later my youngest daughter asked me if I was ever going to quit again because she said that she liked me a lot better when I wasn't on the meth. She then proceeded to tell me ALL of the reasons why she liked me better when I was not on it. Talk about a reality check. I cried myself to sleep that night. No six year old child should ever have to ask their parent a question like that, but she was just being honest. The truth cut deeply coming out of the mouth of a six year old little girl who just wanted her real mother back. I had never felt like a low life before, but I did now. So, the next morning I gave her a big hug and told her that I was REALLY going to quit this time, and that I was going to do it for HER, and I did. With the love and support of my husband, my daughters, and some really wonderful friends, I was able to quit on my own. I am sorry if I offended anyone with my prior posting. If I came off sounding like I was a goody two shoes addict, I did not mean to. I was just merely trying to get the point across that people cannot always tell when a person is on meth. It is true that you CAN usually tell when a person is on meth, but not always. I am just happy that I am clean now, and I will spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to my children.
Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?


If you keep your man happy at home he will refuse an offer everytime.

No, No, No,

There are way too many women who fall prey to that line of thinking, though I've never had that problem, I certainly would not be blaming myself for it, though months ago, I might have, not now.

Can we agree to disagree on that?
imlostinky Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
It isn't a matter of keeping your man happy Despie-It is a matter of keeping your relationship with your man healthy. It is a matter of keeping up with what goes on in your own home and not leaving any doors open.
Yes I agree - there are men AND women who will cheat no matter what for whatever reasons-
BUT there are cases where we as the partner hand out invitations- Please come break up my marriage, bust up my home.
Very seldom is cheating just for the sex- it often comes with the ego, self esteem, feeling good about yourself that someone other than who is required to find you attractive does.
In a healthy relationship, the flattery hits, the feel good hits, but the partner goes home.
It never goes further than that.

You can run the other women off but if you haven't addressed the issue behind the other woman, it will happen again.

Yeah some will cheat no matter what- but most won't.Not unless conditions are ripe.
Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
I am having a difficult time "replying" argg! this is my 3rd try...

I am sorry if I sound mean regarding the kids. It is just how I feel and I am sorry. Its hard to explain, but she will use the kids to get back in my/our life and I just dont want that. I do trust my husband, but like many marriages, mine is not perfect. It is so hard to explain how she does...what she does. I did trust her too(had suspicions)but when I found out she was cheating with my ex-neighbors' husband (this is also her husbands best friend)I just feel sick. Her husb/family ++extended family does know she did the drug...but she just told them that he (the guy she cheated with) made her do it. And that she wont do it anymore (denied they were having sex, just doing drugs together)I do agree...I think she would be cheating whether drugs or not. I do think the drug makes her forget what the heck she is doing to her family.

I have the URL to this site in my favorites and I will keep coming back to read...I have been reading about this drug on the internet(like 2-3 hrs a day sometimes) since June 05 when this happend..because I didnt know anything about it. Now I see stuff all the time, in the paper, TV..talking to others.

Again I do believe my husband, but I also believe she was doing her best to, well you know. And even if my husband never did anything, its still makes me angry that she was trying. It makes me even angry at myself for being so naive. I could have pulled her aside years ago and told her to knock it off.Again I am sorry if I sound like a bad person..I am doing my best..life is so hard sometimes, you never know what life will throw at you. And it is really hard for me to express myself by typing what I want to say and say it...so others can understand. thank you, still trying to understand this drug..i guess it affects everyone a little different..I almost feel like not posting, afraid that I may have said something wrong/or not explained it good
Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
sorry to bump this thread again. just wanted to say the reason I know about things "she" is doing...I am in contact with my "ex"neighbor (the wife...not using drugs) she tells me what her husband and my neighbor are doing. She has caught them more than once together. They used to live next door to me, moved.... and live about 10 min away from my house. Yeah its none of my business what they do,it doesnt concern my family... but I do offer support to my ex-nieghbor, she is devastated. She is devasted that her husband is cheating and because he is addicted. And again he is cheating with his bests friends wife.
imlostinky Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
I understand Smalltown- just try your best to be there for your neighbor that is going through all of this- but re, you have a husband and a family that need you too.
Try not to get so caught up that this is the subject of the evening every meal  
You know, we are here for your devastated wife too.
And her husband if he ever wants our help.
We help all here- addicts and loved ones , mothers, fathers, all .
We are winning this war against meth - one heart at a time.
TnSkye Re: functioning meth addicts - how long can they live like this?
It's ok to be mad at her for trying to get with your husband but don't take it out on him. Don't be suspicious of his every move.

As for your friend, have you advised her to go to meetings? Or to come here? You may be great support for her, but most likely if she had more, she could deal with this somewhat better.

Most of us who have addicts in our lives, tend to feel dumb or lost, no one around us seems to understand why we do the things we do, the decisions we make. Hearing from others in similar situations may help her alot.

See also:

How is a functioning user defined? What is an every day user?

A meth addict doesn't always look like an addict

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