Recovering addict seen smoking weed on camera

Published 8:57 am Monday, April 17, 2023

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DEAR ABBY: My fiancé and I have been together for six years. We are in our late 40s. He’s a recovering alcoholic and former drug user from his late teens into his early 20s. He hasn’t touched drugs for 21 years. He often talked to people about his recovery, and I was beyond proud of him.
I recently saw something that broke my heart. My neighbor has a security camera. I went over to check on him and he asked me to look at the camera he has for fear of strangers coming up to his door. My heart began to race as I saw my fiancé in the background of the video smoking something. I watched the video at least 20 times and there he was, smoking a blunt! I was so shocked and disappointed that it took me an hour before I could text him.
I sent him a clip of the video and asked how he could fall off the wagon and be so sneaky about it. I am no longer sure I want to marry him because – what’s next? Alcohol, more drugs? My father was an alcoholic, and I always told myself I would never marry one. Should I call off the wedding and end the relationship? I am so angry I cannot breathe. What makes someone fall off the wagon after 20 years of being sober? – BREAKING HEART IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR BREAKING HEART: You have my sympathy. Recovery is not a destination. It is something that must be practiced every day, which is why substance abusers attend 12-step programs. It’s not uncommon for them to have occasional lapses, which appears to be what has happened with your fiancé. He’s sneaking because he knows you would react as you have.
Have you been to a meeting of a support group for friends and family of addicts in recovery? If not, go now! (Visit for information.) Whether you should break the engagement and move on is something only you can decide, but if you attend some of those meetings, you will gain insight into your future.
P.S. I know I will hear from readers telling me marijuana isn’t the “hard stuff” and is even legal in some states. However, the issue I can’t avoid is that he deceived you about what he has been doing, which should tell you he knows it’s wrong.
DEAR ABBY: I was a good mom, staying at home for 17 years. I love my two girls (39 and 45). Both are very heavy. I always struggled with weight, too, but I lost 50 pounds in the last year. They don’t seem to care about their weight issues, and I have a lot of guilt about it. They are hard to talk to (they say I’m “too critical”), so I don’t say much. I don’t know how to handle this situation. It breaks my heart. Please advise. – GUILTY MOM IN ARIZONA

DEAR GUILTY: Your daughters are sensitive about their weight. Recognize that the topic is off the table. They are both adults, so resist the urge to “correct” them. You can lead by example, and taking off those extra pounds was a good start. Accept that you cannot live your daughters’ lives for them. Concentrate on your own and you will all be happier.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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