Drug Addiction Questions
Drug Addiction Questions
My spouse says they’re going to quit but they don’t
Like some of the other questions and statements in this section dealing with spouses, let me start by reminding you that you are the one with the problem, not them.
They can handle their habit and you’re wrong.
If they say they’re going to quit, but they don’t, it is either because they don’t want to give up something they enjoy, or perhaps they can’t quit. I suspect if you’ve had an ongoing discussion with your spouse about his/her using, the likelihood is they are on the path of addiction. They may think they have control over the substance, but the substance has control over them.
Let’s assume the worst case scenario. They have become addicted and they cannot stop. You are not going to stop them. You need to seek professional help.
If you handle this on your own, you will get an argument, create hostility and cause yourself a lot of unnecessary grief. Remember, “you are wrong and they are right and nothing is going to change that.” It’s like going into battle. You need to equip yourself and receive instruction.
If you don’t know who to turn to first, you can call your physician, or look in the yellow pages and find a drug and alcohol treatment center.
Approach this like a military commander approaches a battle. Successful military campaigns require leadership and expertise. An addiction recovery professional is your commander. The enemy is not your spouse, but his/her addiction, and a battle plan is needed to combat the disease. Everybody is different, so a specific plan to help your spouse is necessary.
The short answer here is get help. They are using and they say they’re going to quit, but they never do. That probably means they aren’t quitting. The addiction is calling the shots. You need professional intervention, which might go well, as your spouse agrees to go into treatment.
It could also be ugly, as your spouse ignores your observations, the observations of children, friends and others. Addicts sometimes hold on to that denial as if separating them from their substance of choice would ruin their lives. Let your drug and alcohol professional guide you through the process, help you cope with the situation and give you resources moving forward.
Asking them to stop; begging them to stop; or ordering them to stop isn’t going to work in most cases. Rather than going into the battle alone, get the help you need and the help your spouse needs. Pick up the phone and make the call to your doctor or a drug and alcohol treatment center.
If you’ve been living with this for a long time, believe me, the action is not rash. It’s the thing to do. Make the call. Also, turn to support groups for your own emotional well-being. Your pastor or rabbi is an excellent source of spiritual support. Many clergy are familiar with drug and alcohol recovery and understand the physical, emotional and spiritual components of recovery.
When you make the call, be willing to allow caring and concerned professional people to help you. They are looking at the situation from a different perspective, searching for insights and reference points that will enable them to formulate a winning plan for your spouse’s recovery. You are a partner in that process.
Let it happen.
Make the call.
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