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Home » Humor » The Controlled Use Fad has Normal Recovery Community Baffled; How can One Recover from Abuse if One can’t Stop Abusing? A Humorous Take.

The Controlled Use Fad has Normal Recovery Community Baffled; How can One Recover from Abuse if One can’t Stop Abusing? A Humorous Take.

August 2018

Controlled (ab)use is a nonsensical, feel-good, “when bad ideas happen to good people”, impossible method for recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, made up by people who aren’t afflicted by the disease (or possibly by some who are and simply hate not being high – either way…).

At the heart of the issue is the attempt to cure a symptom of a bigger problem.  Imagine trying to cure cancer by cutting your toenails, and that’ll get you close to how kooky the concept is.  Close, mind you.  You’re not quite there on the kook scale yet.

So here’s the idea, laid bare for the silly proposition it is;  I am an alcoholic.  Now, by alcoholic I mean I am a butt-ass drunk.  I destroyed my liver before hitting my early twenties.  I am one of those assholes who would get loaded, fall asleep at the wheel, super-drunk, and crash into a bus of nuns out on a 2am joyride heading home from the casino, singing “Jesus Loves Me”, killing everyone but me.  The drunk never dies because the drunk is loose at the time of the accident, by the way.  You get me, though, right?  Are you good and pissed?  Excellent, let’s proceed.

I am a f***ing drunk.

The idea behind controlled (ab)use, in a nutshell, is this:  My drug of choice is alcohol, and because I like drinking rather than doing drugs, crack cocaine and heroin (or a combination thereof), or better, meth, should be just fine for me to use.  As long as I control that use.

Of course, they never frame it like this, where you go from a more benign drug like alcohol to meth, it’s heroin to pot, or pain pills to booze, or better still, heroin to pain pills (duh!)… the point is, control, for the vast majority of addicts and alcoholics, is fleeting at best but normally just pie-in-the-sky.  We’d be better served to try to control a charging elephant by stepping in front of it.  You first.

That’s how the recovery community, whether they’ll express it as I just have in polite company or not, looks at controlled abuse.  If you’re an alcoholic or an addict of my type, and you hear someone trying to sell you on controlled abuse, run away.  Fast.  There’s simply no such thing.

Our only hope for a sane, happy life, is to be done with abuse.  We have no room for abuse of any kind.


  1. saoirsek says:

    Two words…progressive illness

  2. tammi1438 says:

    Those folks who think they can control their use or people who think those who have addiction can control their use aren’t paying attention to their own research. They have the data.. “I can stop any time” or “I’ll only do a few,” and it didn’t work. They are ignoring their own data.

  3. Sue Slaght says:

    Appreciate your ‘say it like it is’ attitude Jim. Cutting your toenails to cure cancer definitely puts it in perspective.

  4. Annie Chace says:

    I tried to control it after falling off the wagon at ten years dry. It didn’t work. Fortunately I was able to claw my way out and start over.

  5. joliesattic says:

    Well said and you got it right, the drunk seldom gets killed in the crash where he/she managed to kill everyone else. Sad.

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