My husband believes using every once in awhile is going to help him, thoughts on this?



My husband has been a hardcore drug user the majority of his life. He has used any and everything any and every way possible. He is an addict through and through. He used heroin and considers himself an ex heroin addict, currently and preferably his drug is crack. He believes that he should be able to indulge every once in awhile just like the majority of us do and can if we (ex:) have a bad day and come home and need a glass or two of wine. He knows he is an addict but he feels confident that he should be able to use recreationally. Thoughts on this? I feel like saying “Sure that sounds good” is 100% enabling him, but it also kind of makes sense.


Man, that is a tough one.

I see where he’s coming from and my boyfriend has said the same thing to me before but I know he knew deep down that that wasn’t possible. The thing about addiction is that it’s a constant battle and using recreationally is only opening up the door to it every once in a while. That’s a HUGE risk. It’s just inviting temptation but also getting a taste of it too. It would be really hard to stop. Who knows, maybe he really can use recreationally and be successful at it. My boyfriend’s drug of choice is heroin/opiates. He told me once that he wishes he could use recreationally but if he did, there would be a lot of negative consequences.

I’m not sure if this helps. I personally don’t think it’s possible, but also everybody is different. There’s a lot of high functioning alcoholics/addicts out there but there is still a lot of brokenness in their relationships.


Right! Like, just because you can work doesnt mean your life is functional. So I dont know…I did say something to him like “Oh so youre just going to use drugs for the rest of our lives?” And he said “no this was just a step in the direction of stopping completely” So I dont know, he also told me if I was to get pregnant then he would quit but I dont know. I think he wants to stop but I also know that he enjoys it.


So I shared this question with my husband, who is a recovering heroin addict, because I was wondering his thoughts on this. Here were his thoughts:

  • If it works for him, and works for the wife, and it’s sustainable, then more power to them…
  • Every addict tries to rationalize occasional recreational use at some point.
  • If it were to work, it would require a really strong support network. A wife fully onboard, couples counseling, counseling and/or group for him that would help hold him accountable and help him maintain his use. He’s heard of people keeping journals to help track and control drug use.
  • It would require a lot of open honesty about drug use. Most importantly, being honest about it with himself.
  • It could not work if there were children involved.

All that to say, every recovery is different, but every recovery does require support, honesty, and trust. For you - make sure to figure out your own boundaries and stick to them. Take care of yourself.


Glad you shared this @Bulldurham28, sounds familiar :slight_smile:

So I have to start with the fact that models of recovery we’ve inherited tend to predicate abstinence. But that can make it really hard for people to get into recovery. My husband entered rehab never admitting he was an addict, nor accepting he’d never use substances again - he loves them!

I think that’s ok.

It would make me nervous if my husband continued to use strong drugs that were his main downfall, he still drinks now and sometimes it seems OK and sometimes it seems damaging. My belief is that as long as we keep open communication about it, and take an experimental and curiosity driven approach to it, that we’ll figure out together what works and what doesn’t.

Saying something like, ok, well if we try this - how will we know if it is OK or not OK? Might be a way to have a conversation about an experiment where there are some conscious boundaries.

Also, I wonder if we might talk more about what other tools he could use instead of crack. Do you know what purpose it solves for him? Are there other more healthy behaviors that serve a similar purpose? Can we encourage more of those?

Let me know what you think!

Also, this tool is actually the topic of this week’s meetup, given what you’ve written above I think it’d be useful for you. RSVP HERE to save your spot.
Hope to talk again this week!