HeinzeSight: My boyfriend takes my prescription meds
October 24, 2012 | 11:00 am
(Updated: February 25, 2013 | 11:26 am)
I have an anxiety disorder and have a prescription for a medicine I take if I’m having a panic attack. My boyfriend doesn’t have anxiety but sometimes likes to take my pills for fun, always asking me for some, or sometimes just popping them when I’m not around. He’s not addicted or taking whole bottles, and I don’t think abusing this medication is much worse than using marijuana or for an underage person to drink alcohol. I just hate how he treats my disorder like a fun chance to get high, because I treat it very seriously. I don’t want to seem stingy or conservative. How should I handle the situation?
I’m glad that Lipitor and estrogen don’t get a person high or you might be dating a guy with low cholesterol and really large breasts. It sounds like you’re struggling with feeling that your boyfriend is disrespecting the seriousness of you and your diagnosis. It also seems as though you feel there is very little you can do to get him to understand how it is affecting you emotionally. I’m hopeful that you’ve already expressed your feelings to him. If not, that would be a first step.
It’s estimated that by 2016, prescription drug abuse rates will surpass all other forms of drug abuse. Though that’s generally referring to painkillers and muscle relaxants, some meds prescribed to help with symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks are also easy to abuse. Depending on how he uses them, it could have troubling side effects without a doctor’s supervision, and if combined with alcohol or other drugs, it could cause some serious health consequences. Additionally, I hope he realizes that there can be legal consequences if he is caught carrying or using these medications prescribed to you, including jail time.
It sounds like it’s important to you to face and treat this psychiatric issue according to your doctor’s recommendations. It also seems like your partner using your prescription as “party pills” is upsetting to you and putting stress on your relationship. All of these concerns can strain your relationship, and are likely causing more stress and anxiety for you.
I ask this question of almost every relationship question that comes to me: “Have you talked to him about how you feel, and does he understand?” I am shocked by how many people avoid having a very frank and honest conversation with someone, especially when it could potentially blow up in their face or cause extreme discomfort. Avoiding these types of confrontation only serves to help resentment and anger build inside. This can come out in a massive emotional or physical explosion, or continue to be kept inside to gnaw away at your soul.
Are you minimizing his behaviors to make them sound less severe and hurtful than they really are? Your comparison of his behaviors to someone smoking marijuana or an underage person drinking alcohol already acknowledges his actions as illegal. His actions are also affecting the way you feel about him and your relationship. Don’t shove those feelings aside – you might think it’s easier to just “get over it” instead of confronting him and putting your foot down, but those feeling surface again and the resentment doesn’t go away.
It also sounds like you’re scared your boyfriend will judge you as a dull guy who doesn’t appreciate the finer points of pharmacological partying. I’m curious if you feel that you need to allow him to continue these behaviors out of concern that he’ll ditch you and/or spread the word you’re a buzz-kill.
The longer you live in resentment or fear of judgment, the more risk you have of hurting yourself emotionally and causing problems in the relationship. If you can’t count on your partner to respect you, then prescription medication abuse isn’t the worst of your problems.