Dealing with your spouse’s drug and drink problem can be hard. Their dependency puts a strain on your relationship, and you are worried about the impact it will have upon your finances and your family. There’s only so long you can tolerate living with an addict and watching the person you love do serious damage to themselves and those around them.
Addiction is a disease that often needs treatment to cure. People who have become dependent on drink or drugs are often not in the right state of mind to see or admit that they have a problem. Your husband needs your help and support, even if he won’t admit to it. If you are concerned about your husband’s habits, but have failed to get through to him, it could be time to stage an intervention.
Is my husband an addict?
Men are twice as likely to abuse alcohol as women, with 20% of men in the United States having a minor alcohol problem. American men are also two and a half times as likely to become alcoholics as American women (1). Men are also much more likely to overdose on all kinds of drugs than women, with a significantly higher number of cocaine and heroin overdose deaths every year (2). Addiction is a serious disease and needs to be treated in the correct way, and with such extreme potential consequences it is vital that your husband sees the true extent of his problem.
If everything you have tried has failed to convince your husband that his drug or drink habit is out of control, an intervention could be your best hope of getting him into treatment. 70% of people who get treatment are able to successfully cut down their drinking and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. An intervention for your husband could be the motivation he needs to seek help.
Signs your husband needs an intervention
There is a difference between your husband having one too many drinks and being alcohol dependent, or using drugs recreationally and being addicted to them. You need to look out for the destructive behaviors of an addict. If your husband is addicted to drugs or alcohol there are several things he is likely to do:
Downplay or dismiss the severity of his problem when you try and discuss your concerns with him. He may not even realize his habit is so extreme.
Blame his alcohol or drug use on outside factors. Your husband may try and use his stressful job, hectic family life, or any relationship problems you may have been having as justification.
Spend your money on alcohol or drugs despite knowing you can’t afford it.
forget or ignore his family commitments.
He will also continue using drugs and drinking regardless of tensions it may cause between you. It may be hard to keep your mind focused on helping him when he behaves this way, but it is important to remember that addiction is a disease, and he needs your help.
My husband needs an intervention. What now?
You will need to bring together a few of the closest people to your husband, and create a plan of what will happen. It is important that an intervention is properly thought out and rehearsed to make sure you are all focused on the final objective: getting your husband to seek treatment. An addiction treatment program such as Steps to Recovery can help you through the process of planning and staging an intervention, and provide the treatment your husband needs once he has agreed to get help.