Please help me quit crack addiction!

Readers Question Readers Question: (Name changed for privacy)
Stanton Peele Response by: Dr. Stanton Peele
Posted on September 25th, 2008 - Last updated: September 18th, 2019
This content was written in accordance with our Editorial Guidelines.

What steps do I take to triumph over a crack addiction without conforming to the philosophy and theology of AA or NA?

You have given me a tough task. You have told me nothing about your addiction and yourself, and yet ask for my help. If I told you I could solve a virulent addiction with one E-mail, I would be perpetrating a fraud.

But you ask two questions: (1) Can you lick a drug addiction without a 12-step program? and (2) What are the steps to overcome addiction? The answer to the first question is “yes.” Most people do it without AA or NA.

Here are the steps involved in overcoming an addiction (see my book, The Truth About Addiction and Recovery).

  1. Think about your values, what is important to you. You have to emphasize in your mind the real reasons you want to quit. Are you concerned about your health? Your looks? Your family or girlfriend? Your standing in the community? Your self-respect? Concentrate on a different you and how this person would live and relate to the world, and how others would see this new you.
  2. We should appreciate your strengths and accomplishments. What are your best assets? What have you accomplished that you are most proud of? Have you quit any other addictions or bad habits? How did you do it that time?
  3. There may be important gaps in your strengths and skills. You need to be able to form personal relationships, to have love and friends. To do this you need to communicate what you want without harassing people or being too needy. Do you get too angry or become violent when you’re angry? Can you make reasonable requests of others without embarrassment? You can learn such communication skills, if you don’t have them. You should learn them.
  4. How are your work skills? Do you have reasonable job that you carry out successfully? There are various ways to learn such skills, like enrolling in classes or job training.
  5. What do you get from crack? Does it energize you, make you feel strong or powerful, make you happy? How else can you get these feelings? Of course, other methods are going to be slower and tougher, and sometimes they fail to get you the feelings you want. But feelings of strength and happiness you gain from your own efforts and activities are real, and stay with you.
  6. Think beyond yourself. Are there any people you make happy, or help? Are there groups you can contribute to in your community, like your church? Can you assist older or younger people, or help clean up a park? Adults think beyond themselves. Paradoxically, thinking beyond yourself can give your life meaning and help you deal with your own problems.

As you can see, to overcome addiction you have to deal with the entire structure of your life — your social life, your work life, your spare time. It’s a lot of work. But you just made me do a lot of work to put this mail together. I hope you can do as much work on your own behalf.

Best regards, Stanton

Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.


  • Ll says:

    Im addicted to crack past 4 years i lost everything except my family and i recently relapsed after quitting for months i feel like at this point its the only thing that makes me forget about how I’ve ruined my life wat are the ways to stop thinking about it

  • michael says:

    I need all the info I can get on how to stop my addiction

  • Boy says:

    A friend introduced me to crack and since then I’ve been taking it every single day from morning tonight in a large quantity. About 2 gram daily and this is really tearing me apart personally because I’m paying a lot of money for it and I am highly worried about my self too. Almost everyone knows I’m into it now and it’s just tearing me apart. I really wanna quit but it just seems impossible and very hard for me. I don’t want to go for rehab or other rehabilitation programs. Please can you help me on how to quit this devilish act as soon as possible.

  • John p says:

    Crack is destroying my love and the short life we could have together she is much younger has a big heart and is often worried about others instead of herselfiwant. To see her happy again her granddaughters need her

  • Rudy says:

    I’ve been battling this addiction for years and no matter how hard I try to leave it behind I always end up back in the same situation it’s tearing me n my family apart n I don’t want to lose my family so I’m gonna try my hardest to get my life back on track n so my family can be proud of me again

  • Bantu says:

    I have been on crack for over a decade and am sick and tired, l have reduced the number of times to once a week per session and it seems that I have the urge to take a “hit” when drinking only. I know l can kick this habit but I need help.

  • Tracy says:

    I Am totally at The lowest Lowest ,Mentally And physically isnt good honestly either. Crack has me & myself that I knew In a fast scary existence these days. I truly do not know what the hell Is wrong with me(so to speak) and how everyday I hate that myself and my addiction a little more and how I became this zero will power stranger In the mirror. Waking up everyday i i S Everyday is all it takes to Make me keep this hamster wheel going SERIOUSLY scared.

  • Mike says:

    This is a hard addiction to kick I have been struggling with it since I was 19 I’m 43 now and only by the Grace & Mercy of God is the reason I”ve made it this far…

  • Brian says:

    I like your answers and I’m determined to quit

  • Bob says:

    Very helpful. Very Concise. Thank you.
    I messed up last night. I’ll try to let you know how it goes in the coming months.

  • Gary says:

    I did not post question but your answer was very informative and most of all very helpful.
    Thank you Stanton

  • Keila says:

    I need help bad I have 8 year son that néed me and 5 month old granddaughter that need me and my oldest daughter that need me plz help I’m ready to help my self this is not the life I want no more plz help me

  • shame says:

    I’m a backsliden minister struggling with a crack cocaine addiction . My life is in turmoil. I feel suicidal. I feel lonely depression misunderstood

  • Adam says:

    I have come to a crossroad in life, I have a love for life w/out drugs, I still possess the love for life, what is difficult is relationships, friendships, dealing w past such as shame, criminal history as well as getting good job and building career. Every day is a struggle I do want to overcome this and achieve reasonable goals, my confidence and self esteem or real low, I am also a survivor of traumatic head injury.

  • Charlene says:

    My name is Charlene, I’m 46yrs old and I have a disease that’s cunning baffling and powerful. Crack cocaine please assist me anyway possible to get clean and stay clean. ASAP

  • Charlene says:

    I deal with the urge to use crack daily I want my life back. Please help me to kick this addiction urgently. I’ve been clean before for 3 1/2 yrs but relapsed. I want this to be anonymous. Treatment is not an option. I have health problems and over weight I really want to stop before I’m made to stop. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *