I Don’t Want My Husband To Use Drugs

Readers Question Readers Question: (Name changed for privacy)
Stanton Peele Response by: Dr. Stanton Peele
Posted on December 22nd, 2010 - Last updated: November 21st, 2023
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I don’t want my husband to use drugs, even if he can resume drinking

Dr. Peele:

I am writing to ask you about your opinion on using narcotics recreationally after going through an intensive (6 week) substance abuse treatment. I have read your views on resuming social alcohol consumption after being diagnosed as an alcoholic and I wondered how you felt about cocaine, marijuana, heroin, etc. I did read your answer to Steve from you FAQ’s in response to his belief that limited use cannot be done. I will be forthright and state that I feel similar to Steve in terms of limited drug use, but for some reason want to believe that limited alcohol consumption is possible. I realize that I am being inconsistent in seeing the issue this way, but I guess I am scared that if my husband decides to resume drinking, that he will resume “limited” consumption of pot and eventually cocaine and I am completely against it! I have children at home and I do not want to contribute to their delinquent attitudes about recreational drug use, even though I used to do this myself. How does one go about shifting needs for an addictive object? Is this a behavior modification tool and is this available in your book — The Addiction Experience?


Dear Deborah:

Yes, people do resume moderate drug use. But it usually requires important shifts in their lives, and sometimes quite a bit of time.

I am not entirely clear what you are saying in your mail: Did your husband go through treatment? Did you have treatment or did you ever have a substance problem? Does your husband want to drink again, perhaps because you do? When you write — “for some reason [I] want to believe that limited alcohol consumption is possible” — are you talking about yourself? But then you say you don’t want your husband drinking, because you fear this will lead your husband to resume drug use.

Your objections to your husband’s resuming drinking and/or drug use are really twofold: (a) you don’t think he can control his substance use, or just stop at drinking, (b) you don’t want him using drugs as a part of your household, because of your children and your own feelings. This is certainly legitimate on your part! I guess the question is, how much input do you have into your husband’s decision? Or are you saying because you resumed drinking, he will do so, but with different implications in his case?

How to go about shifting needs away from addictive experiences is detailed in my book, The Truth About Addiction and Recovery.


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.

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