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Sobriety Scenario: Abstinent from One Substance but Not Another?

I had my last drink more than six years ago. I take my sobriety very seriously, and don’t expect to consume alcohol again in the future. But I’ve been wondering if there might be a place for very occasional pot use in my life. I’m having a hard time finding meaningful opinions on the matter online - do any of you have any experience or insights?

Some things that have been on my mind:

1. Pot was never a big deal to me - I was never more than a sporadic user, and while I liked it fine, it was not an obsession with me the way alcohol was. I don’t think that my use was dysfunctional or troubling and, again, was quite rare.


2. I have pretty bad anxiety and have been scared to use any benzos because they can be so habit-forming.

3. I am not a 12-stepper. I was originally when I was quitting drinking, but it really messed me up: I feel like AA kicked me when I was down. I’ve had a hard time parsing out what thoughts about addiction are really my own versus what AA tried to convince me of. AA is great for a lot of people, but not great for me - I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater, though.

4. I believe that, to an extent, I get to decide what sobriety looks like for me. My problems were exclusive to alcohol, but I am acutely aware that it is very easy to transfer that addiction to other unhealthy behaviors. Total abstinence from alcohol is critical to me, but I’m not sure about total abstinence from EVERYTHING.

5. I have not consumed any drugs recreationally since getting sober, so taking pot just because I want to would be a new thing for me during this phase of my life.


6. My main concerns about trying this are triggering alcohol cravings and feeling like my sobriety has been compromised.

7. My main goal would just be to relax and enjoy myself. If I consumed pot it would be with my husband, who has been incredibly supportive throughout my sobriety and with whom I have discussed this at length. His opinion is that it is truly up to me and he will support me either way. He doesn’t consider it to be necessarily dangerous, but says that if I am uncomfortable about it I definitely shouldn’t do it.


8. I don’t think I’m more special than other alcoholics - in terms of my obsession with alcohol, I am very like all of the others. I am not like “normal” people when it comes to alcohol, but I also feel that I know a lot of people who don’t have substance abuse issues who enjoy consuming pot or alcohol, so just considering trying pot again is not a sign of serious problems on its own.

9. I feel that, if I tried it and it made me uncomfortable, I am capable of honestly saying that I should not do it again.


The only conversations I’ve found online about this exact topic are questions posed by people who were habitual marijuana users when they were drinking and for whom these substances are intertwined. They have not been sober for more than a year or two, mostly less. The people responding to their questions have been active AA members for whom this is a clear NO, as AA prohibits anything that “affects you from the neck up.”

My feelings on the matter have wavered and I’m interested in outside opinions. Is this very idea insane and dangerous? Is it worth a shot as long as I feel I can honest with myself about how it went?

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