My partner is using again.. what are the best next steps?



My husband completed a 30 day inpatient program last year - I think I had set my expectation or hopes too high but when he came home he was struggling mentally with depression. He had started an outpatient program but soon left his job, therefore lost his insurance. He’s been taking Suboxone consistently. He never resonated with the NA program and was going to a therapist twice a week but there was never any real accountability with that. He admitted to using once, a month after rehab (which was March/April 2022) But there were many times when I questioned him if he was using again (his drug of choose is opiates / snorts heroin or oxy) but he always denied it and then I thought my anxiety was taking over. There were no real signs (like eyes rolling back, he goes to work everyday and pays the bills) last year he drained the account so obviously he spiraled out of control. But yesterday I found a cigarette box of the heroin wax wrappers (unused) and after initially denying it he came clean to using periodically and it hadn’t been the first or even second time within the last year. He says he knows he needs to stop and he doesn’t want to be using but it’s the only really thing that numbs his pain or helps when he’s feeling stressed. My question to you all is - what is the next best treatment? Outpatient? Going to meetings? Trying a new therapist? He’s willing to do whatever besides going to another 30 day program (which after last year’s experience don’t even think that’s the right thing to do).


@vieve - I’ve been in this situation many times, as well. My husband actually just had a slip a few months ago, and I found out over the holidays. Since this was his second slip in the last year, and he hasn’t been going to any kind of meetings or therapy or program, this time around I’m pushing for change. We started seeing a couples therapist again and I’ve been talking to him about some kind of connection with a recovery community. He’s not into NA or AA, either - because he’s taking suboxone, he never feels fully accepted at 12-step meetings. Although he’s willing to try Refuge Recovery, which is a Buddhist approach to 12 steps.

I think what’s most important is asking him what his next step is, and then asking how you can support that decision. My husband is open to outpatient - there’s a program we found that does individual therapy and group therapy, that sounds like it would be helpful. I think what he needs most right now is a community and connection with others. Even if he find a group that is not recovery related, I’d be fine with that! And for us, it’s also important to take it slow and find something that still allows him to work and spend time with family.

I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s exhausting and frustrating. But I’m glad your husband was honest with you eventually and is open to getting help. Please keep us updated on how everything goes!