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Old 01-17-2008, 12:25 PM
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Question Opinions: Drug Testing Significant Other/Spouse?

My ABF and I discussed whether or not our relationship could tolerate his being drug tested in order to remain in my house with me and my children. We decided it would be too stressful to try to make him accountable to me in that manner. I believe he thought that because he was actively using and I think I was afraid that if I could confirm his drug use, I would need to ask him to leave.

So in our case no drug testing, but sometimes I wonder if it would have helped us.

After giving birth to two children I had a weight problem. I attended Weight Watchers and I know (for me) it was the weighing in front of someone and being accountable that made me successful. I don't mean to minimize addiction, but I wonder if drug testing your partner or having someone else do it, would be helpful or harmful?

Of course .... respecting everyone's opinion and recognizing that everyone and their relationships are truly individual ..... do you have any thoughts or opinions about this?
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:36 PM
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I thought it was a great idea... at first. Then I realized that it took ME out of my place as a caring, supportive loved one... and put me in the position of being a jailer, a doctor, a warden.... things I don't want to be!


In the long run, it isn't whether the drug is in their urine RIGHT NOW... it is about behavior. And some of that behavior does not get better without the drugs, by the way.

So I had to figure out what *I* really can and cannot live with. I cannot live with rage. I cannot live with deceit. I cannot live with financial insecurity. I cannot live with infidelity. I cannot live with spying.

If I don't have to do those things, I don't care if they are using (and I say that because I've never seen an active addict be able to do any of those things.... not rage... not lie... not steal... not betray... not sneak).

Wishing you the best. (((hugs)))
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:36 PM
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I think it's not your job to be his therapist. I think that is a therapists job to do that kind of stuff. A therapist can work with someone when they fail, lie are successful, etc. and help them through it. A therapist is qualified to work with someone and has the training on what an addict is going through, a wife has a hard enough time trying to understand and take care of herself.
A bad idea if you ask me.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:40 PM
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I'm against the drug testing notion, unless proof is needed for legal reasons etc.
The short time I tried this route with my AS, it was a terrible experience for both of us. Of course, it didn't change anything I didn't already know...he was using.

I guess I feel that addiction isn't about whether you do or don't in that its not a moral issue (You use drugs therefore you're a bad person) its about all the crap that comes with it.
I've finally reached the point that I don't care WHY the money is missing, you're miserable or just plain intolerable all the time, irresponsible, undependable and MIA...its wrong.
I don't need the proof anymore.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:46 PM
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I was all for staying out of it till my doctor told me I couldn't. When my AH admitted to keeping drugs in the car where our 9yr old could easily find them my doctor said I had to take an active roll. Which meant I had to require him to have random drug tests if he was to stay in our home. Plain and simple. I have young kids to worry about, who might find these drugs. I will not have an active user in my home. If he tests positive he is out. My children have to come first. The decision will tear me apart but it will have to be made and he knows it already. He was there when my doctor discussed it with me. He was a part of the discussion so he can't say he doesn't know and he can't say he doesn't know why either.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:56 PM
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Waste of my hard earned $$$ if you ask me. Like Anvil said, any addict can pass a drug test. It don't take much!

Also, for me, it ended up being not about the drugs but about the behavior I was willing to put up with. Use drugs, move out. Act the same as if you were using drugs even if you aren't, still move out. I don't NEED to put up with that behavior.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:59 PM
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I have no plans to do drug tests. To me, his behavior is most important. There are all kinds of addictions and compulsions out there. He could get involved in any number of things that didn't involve drugs that would leave him emotionally & physically unavailable. I think that if it got to that point, it would probably be time for me to leave. I'm trying to stop checking up on him because that is not what I want to be doing with my life. We don't have any kids in our house anymore, so that's not an issue.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:07 PM
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I was going to do drug tests but then I decided not to because it became about me and the behavior I was going to allow in my home. I wasn't going to allow myself, my child or my home to be treated with disrespect whether he was high or not. I wasn't going to allow someone who acted like he was on drugs in my house, even if he wasn't. I wasn't going to allow someone to use my house as a place to sleep all day and watch MTV all night, whether they were clean and sober or not. I wasn't going to allow old "buddies" who I knew he used to use with in my house.

It stopped being about the drugs. It started being about me.

Of course, I kept random drug testing as an option. But I decided NOT to waste the money on the test when it came down to it.

If you do drug test, I suggest keeping one under the sink so you have it available when you need it.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:16 PM
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IMHO....
I think it depends on what you do with the information you get from it. So if you intend on separating from your addict depending on the results you need to make good on your intention otherwise it's time wasted and money wasted. I did the same thing with my addict and did not follow through with my intentions so I stopped because it was just too much frustration on my part added to an already stressful situation.
I agree with BigSis...it's all about behavior. What can you tolerate and what you can't...you don't need any hard evidence for that. You know what you feel. Behavior was always a big indicator as to whether there was active use or not or whether or not he was going to use. I think it's more worthwhile working on alleviating your self doubt. I think my self doubt was a barricade for me because I wanted to believe he wasn't using. It wasn't until I refused to listen to anymore quacking and started to base everything on action and behavior that I was able to start believing what I saw and felt in my gut.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:06 PM
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I did them for a while with my daughter. Bottom line, when she was ready to use again, she started to balk at me watching her pee, which meant that she was using fake urine or someone's who was clean. If an addict really wants to quit then they do not need to be tested. They will find a way to stay clean all on their own. Hugs, Marle
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:11 PM
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I agree with the fake urine, I know a girl who used her little sisters urine when her mom made her do the drug testing at home.

Also if you are testing him for amphetamines most of those tests don't work.
You can fail one easy. Look at the things online that can make you fail one.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:14 PM
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There are a lot of great responses on this thread. And it's true, it really does come down to behavior. Addict behavior doesn't need to be tolerated, whether or not the addict is using. BigSis is so right, active addicts do tend to act a certain way.
I guess the only thing I don't agree with that has been said is that a lack of trust d/t addiction pretty much means that there is no point in being in the relationship (sorry, I am majorly paraphrasing). I have decided not to drug test once my ABF comes home from rehab, but that doesn't mean all trust is restored. Trust needs to be earned back. I don't think drug testing would do anything to build that trust back up (would probably end up making the relationship worse), but there definitely is a lack of trust that needs to be repaired. But it can be repaired, as long as both people are willing to work on it and put in the effort.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:24 PM
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You can't police someone no matter how hard you try. I remember thinking and asking, "How will I know, how will I know?" Everyone in my meetings and on here said, "You'll know." They were right.

In my opinion, drug testing would show that I haven't come to admit I am powerless over his/her actions. And that I still have to be in THEIR business, trying to figure out what THEY are doing.
The way I've found some peace in my life is by getting the focus back on me and letting the addict figure out what it is they want for their life. And like Big Sis said, in the meantime I decide if I want to live with someone who has broken my trust, stolen, cheated, etc.

And let me add something funny here regarding how nuts a person can get with all this. I have a friend in my Al Anon group who said she was so into drug testing her son that she and her husband looked into buying the drug tests by the CASE so they could save money. :rof: If you asked her if any of those drug tests did a bit of good, she'd tell you she would have been wiser to spend that money on teaching dogs how to talk!

Last edited by Hangin' In; 01-17-2008 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:33 PM
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This thread about drug testing has been so helpful to me. Thanks for everyone's opinions. My 16 yo AS returns from a 5 month treatment in 10 days. Ugh! I am struggling with the drug testing thing. The facility recommends we do it randomly. Perhaps I will test him only if he seems high or if his behavior makes me suspect he has been using. The burden/weight seems to be so heavy on me about this issue, far more so than it will ever be on him probably. And that to me feels so counter to what i am supposed to be doing right now. I need to be focusing on my own recovery to grow and be stronger not contemplating when I am going to spring a drug test on him. Whew! I feel better. I will just buy one and keep it in my bathroom so I have it if needed. And forget about worrying over it. Thanks.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:41 PM
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So you guys test at home? And you guys pay for it? My doctor friend set it up so my AH goes into the clinic and gets tested when ever I tell him too. I phone up my doctor friend to let him know to expect him(so he can't dodge out of it). He gets done for free. And then I get teh results when my doctor friend comes over for a visit that day or the next. He has it arranged so I can send him in any time I want. I don't know what I would do if I had to do it at home and had to pay for it. I have no money for that.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:46 PM
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I am against drug testing my spouse for the reasons everyone above listed. I did, however, in an act of desperation, surprise my AH with a drug test earlier this week and the prospect of me watching him pee into a cup for a test that he knew he would fail made him tell me the truth.

The truth that I already knew, of course. Manipulative? Absolutely. I realized it in that moment, too. It was in that moment that I realized exactly what BigSis said above - it was like a light turned on and I realized that I can not live like this any longer.

My prayers are with you.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:58 PM
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You are doing, so well, upholding your boundaries.

However, if you decide to test; I certainly wouldn't go the doctor route. He could have several options open to him, on the way to the doc, to alter the test results. I don't agree with testing, but if I was going to test ~ I would make the announcement, test immediately, and supervise the urinating.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:53 PM
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Nikki -

I swore I would never get involved in another drug testing debate on SR - I always feel crappy and condemned afterwards. However, I obviously can't resist.....

When my RAH moved in with me and my two sons he told me that he wanted to set up a random drug testing thing. Initially, he was going to use an outside lab but the cost was prohibitive. His relapse prevention counselor highly recommended it though....think about it....why do companies do random drug testing? It's because they don't want people working for them that use drugs. Do they catch everyone? No - but I'm sure it deters quite a few. I know its kept me drug free for the last 18 years. I used until then I started working in a drug free environment. The drug tests are what kept me away from pot, cocaine, and ecstacy....no joke.

Anyway, he did the random drug testing for the first year that we were together. It was understood that if he flunked the test that he was out. Period. The end. I was willing to randomize the tests (really nice man that owned a drug testing company taught me how to do it) as long as he never copped an attitude or acted resentful. He never did act ugly or like I was his momma. He told me that the way it needed to be done for him was to be told - hey, it's time to pee. He had to go straight into the bathroom and I had to watch him go. Those were all his suggestions. He knew his way around faking the tests...he also knew that he couldn't fake that. We ordered 5 panel tests on the internet (25 for 125.00) Results were immediate. He swears that had a huge impact on his ability to make it through that first year. Honestly, it really helped me to feel safer as well. Would I have eventually known if he used? Of course. But I really did feel better. Also, I feel better that there are tests in the closet if I should ever have my suspicions. They haven't been necessary though. It's just the reality that he and I deal with - he was a long time drug addict. It helped both of us a whole lot to have the testing early on. It really did not have anything to do with control issues from our point of view. It just seemed like a good one to handle a nasty issue.

The physician recovery program in my state has a 90% recovery rate - that is better than any rehab in the country. I asked the director what they did that was so different. Among other things, he said that the doctors had to participate in random drug testing - they discovered that accountability was key for their recovery.

I don't know....everyone has their own opinion. I think that the main thing is to know what you will do if you test someone and it's positive. If you don't have concrete consequences that you know that you will follow through on I can see why it really doesn't matter.

Just my two cents - Donna
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:08 PM
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So you guys test at home? And you guys pay for it?
Nikki, you can by drug tests at any walgreens or rite aid type drug store and they are only about $30. I never used one but I priced them. You need to drug test instantly, when you suspect he is using. Otherwise, too much time passes.

It's the whole instant gratification thing. You don't have time to change your mind. He doesn't have time to make excuses and figure a way out of it or around it. He doesn't have time to argue. And the results are immediate.

If you are going to do it, pick one up before he comes home and keep it under the sink for emergencies.

And Donna is so right. You must be prepared to follow through on the consequences. Otherwise, what is the point.
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