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First of all, thanks heaps to everyone who came out -- or logged on -- to
the world premiere of Breakup Girl LIVE!
Boy, did we have a ball! Remember, there's an all-new show the first
Thursday of every month ... so ink us into your Millennium-at-a-Glance for
December 3! And January 7! And ... Okay, thanks.
And now, in the tradition of "A Very Special Blossom" (and in the
tradition of Breakup Girl's March 30 column) Breakup
Girl is about to take on another not-so-funny issue:
Ask anyone single, and they will tell you that the number of, well, couples
is on the rise. Ask anyone at the Department of Health and Human Services, and
they will tell you that while overall drug use is down, use of cocaine and
heroin is creeping up, especially among people under 26. Merge these trends and
you've got the strung-out boyfriends and girlfriends of tomorrow. And right
now, boyfriends and girlfriends of today's drug users are writing to Breakup
Girl to ask (among other things): When drugs are a crowd ... do I just say
Remember, Breakup Girl is only a superhero, not a trained substance abuse
counselor. But it doesn't take a trained counselor to notice how many letters
arrive in my e-mailbox in which the bad guy's name is Jack Daniels -- or, the
bad girl's, St. Pauli; in which chemicals kill chemistry; in which certain
substances are not so controlled; in which the writer doesn't know whether to
be furious or terrified. Or to know how it feels to get dumped at the
1980-something eighth grade Beach Dance because you didn't have much -- that
is, much interest in smoking pot -- in common.
There are plenty of resources out there for family members and parents of
substance abusers but, according to BG's supercomputer, not as much help is
obviously available for Others who, once drugs enter the picture, feel a whole
lot less Significant. And who, as such, have their own set of concerns about
guilt, partnership, trust, "enabling," gauging the toughness of
So where do you start?
Here's the would-that-it-were-that-simple bottom line (with a little help
from BG.com's Actual Credentialed Expert, Belleruth):
If it's to the point where the bad mojo is really interfering with your
honey's -- and/or your -- ability to work and play and love and feel; or if a
large portion of your energy is going into responding to the substance abuse,
thinking about it, planning around it... the deal is: get help or get out.
This if...then either/or might sound like a big Breakup Girl DUH, but it's
1. Substance abuse problems are often more subtle: no needles in the den, no
dates with dealers ... but how about "social" drinking that gets
anti- every time? Pot before class? Pain dulled with dope instead of dealt
2. At the other end of the caveat spectrum, most partners -- user and Other
-- kid themselves about how bad things are getting. Especially because the
abuse -- like domestic violence -- often escalates incrementally. So things can
get out of control before you're even clued in.
And even if you already know that either getting (a) help or (b) out are
your only real options: how do you decide?
The answer is: ask. Someone with particular expertise in the peculiar
dynamics of drugs-plus-love.
Still, it's totally fine to start the asking with Breakup Girl. To
use a cliched-but-true recoveryism: the first step is admitting there's a
problem. This is true for the People Who Do Drugs, and -- for the reasons in
points 1 and 2 above -- it's an equally tricky and trippy step (though in
different ways) for the People Who Love Them. So Bravisimi to those of you
who've already written.
For the third step, you may wish to check out: The hotline at the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and
Drug Information (1-800-729-6686), general information about substance
that deal with it, various support
groups, plus alternative
ways of dealing and healing.
The second step? Take a look at the letters that brought back the Beach
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