Addiction?

Discussions on addictions and their relationship to depression. Post as new topic.

Addiction?

Postby YLC2525 » April 7th, 2015, 6:26 pm

Hello,
I am begging for an objective opinion on whether my husband has an addiction. Anyone with knowledge on this, please provide your input, I would so, so appreciate it. Here on the facts:

My husband works nights and I work days. He works three nights a week and is off four. On his nights off, he waits until I go to sleep and drinks 4-6 beers a night (the higher ABVs, like Bud Light Platinum or similar ABV). I'm sleeping, so I don't know how quickly he drinks these. It could be over the course of 6 hours or 2 hours, I truly don't know. Sometimes he drinks wine instead and if he does he drinks an entire bottle. He does this every single night that he does not work, and he has been doing it for years. He used to drink vodka and tequila, he would buy the pints and maybe drink one in two days or so. In the last couple years he has gone almost exclusively with beer or wine, unless he's at a party, when he'll drink liquor and way more than his average night. He's also a regular pot smoker, though I don't know if it's every night because he waits until I go to bed. He spends about $80 a month on pot, (in USA) if that helps you gauge his frequency of use at all. He takes sleeping pills every might before he goes to bed. He used to take Ambien and would do very messed up things on it that he didn't remember the next day. I expressed my concern about Ambien but he did not quit until he totalled his car after getting behind the wheel after a half bottle of wine and Ambien. (He was arrested and charged with a DUI.) Now he takes Trazadone exclusively and religiously.

He enjoys pills but doesn't go to the trouble to seek them out, but would take my left over pain pills or benzos when I had them. (He never stole them from me, just asked me if he could take them and it would be for "a headache" or "anxiety."
He was on a Kratom kick for awhile but lost interest. He loves ecstacy and it is my belief that he plans trips around getting to take it. (He only takes it a couple of times a year, though I know he would take it more, given the opportunity.)he also plans trips around trying new strains of pot. He has never injected drugs and has only ever done other hallucigens occasionally, and not for at least 10 years. He is 36 years old.

I have asked him about his alcohol substance use. He denies any addictions, and does so calmly and without anger. Rather, he kind of waves me off and says, "I never get messed up at night, I just enjoy a few drinks and weed helps me concentrate and think clearly." I have expressed concern, but it has not affected his use. He does not hide his use (empty bottles, pot purchase) but he's rather vague and secretive about it all. When asked about that, he said he feels neither embarrassed or ashamed of his use, he just knows it bothers me so he doesn't do it in front of me. He says this all calmly and nonchalantly.

So, I humbly ask those with experience what they think? I honestly don't know--it seems like he may be dealing with something bigger than he wants to admit, but perhaps I'm a prude? Thanks in advance for your help.
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Re: Addiction?

Postby artephius » May 11th, 2015, 9:52 am

YLC -

I'm hearing that your husband is taking what I think are some LARGE quantities of mind altering substances.
I'm hearing that he is not acknowledging your requests to curb his use.

What makes me pretty sure this IS addiction, however, is hearing how he hides his usage in combination with his denial that there is a problem.
I have struggled with alcohol addiction and while my denial is not so strong that I would brush off someone's concerns, I am a master of hiding my drinking.

I hope you have someone to talk to that can help you figure out how to proceed. I feel for you.

big hug,

-Art
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Re: Addiction?

Postby oak » May 11th, 2015, 3:53 pm

Hey! Thanks for posting. I am glad you used your voice.

Disclosure: I abused alcohol for about 15 years, quit all at once, and am coming up on seven years sober next month. The sober life is great! Also, I identify as straightedge, so I don't sing straight from the recovery hymnal. Also, keep in mind that I sometimes have a dim view of The Life, while active drinkers totally tend to romanticize it. What I write will be blunt. You are welcome to take or leave anything.

Re your husband, "addicted" or not, at this point is just semantics.

Three things leapt out at me, all of them bad: needing sleeping pills, stealing medication, and wrecking a car.

Those are very serious matters. Gravely serious.

As far as his denials of dependency, offer him this challenge: offer to buy him dinner if he can go six months with no recreational drugs, starting right now. Any non-dependent person can do so easily.

Below is my advice.

If the day comes when he wants to quit, get him into a medical detox. The withdrawals may kill him, but at least he'll go out like a hero, striving for sobriety.

Until that day, don't get into the car with him driving. Also, I'd start to secretly save money since chronically drunk people eventually lose their jobs. Also, if you can, separate yourself legally, should the day come when he kills someone on the road. You may very well be responsible to pay for his mistakes. Talk to a lawyer.

Frequently consider his excellent qualities. Remember also that people get sober every day, and some day your husband may simply put all this mess down.

IMO your husband needs to be surrounded by strong men. Men who will kindly help him and ruthlessly hold him to a higher standard.

I wish you and him well. Sobriety is a gift, a miracle. You two are in a mess, and it won't magically get better by itself. Or he may get sober quickly or slowly. It happens every day. Good luck.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"When the doors of opportunity swing open, we must make sure that we are not too drunk or too indifferent to walk through." -Jesse Jackson
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Re: Addiction?

Postby irrationalpersist » May 15th, 2015, 5:58 am

I am so sorry you are having to deal with issues arising from your husband's choices and decisions. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have many family members who use drugs and alcohol to 'manage' their lives. It is normal focus on their behaviour and choices and try to control them because their actions and state of mind have a profound effect on the quality of my day to day life. However, it is a fruitless approach that can turn into its own compulsion and obsession.

A better question to ask is, "How is my husband's behaviour and state of mind affecting my life today and what can I do about it?" Knowing that you cannot change your husband is the first step to finding some peace and security in your own life.

Your concerns are valid because they are your concerns. If there wasn't a concerning situation you would not be having the thoughts and feelings you are having, and you wouldn't be exhibiting your own reactive behaviour to the situation. These are your clues that there is something wrong and that you need to take action on your own behalf.

I have attended Al-Anon meetings and they have helped me learn to cope with alcoholism, addiction and mental illness in my family. I haven't been able to change one family member, but I have become much better at taking care of myself and learning how to avoid dangerous or uncomfortable situations with those family members who are under the influence of mind and mood altering substances.

It sounds like wise advise to find out what liability you carry for the actions of your spouse. It is always a good idea to have your own financial resources, no matter how modest. Where you have put your dependence on your husband and he is proving that he can't be trusted, you will do well to create your own networks of support and independence.

Confronting an addict or alcoholic and demanding they account for their use of mind and mood altering substances is not going to yield a contrite, recovered user. The psychology of addiction is complex and unique for every individual. The one universal that seems to apply is that the addict has to face the consequences of their behaviour, and, at some point, they will realize that they want to change. It is only when they make the decision for themselves that change is actually possible. Even our best intentions to change because we love someone and don't want to hurt them anymore will not take priority over the deeper drives that will compel us to act out on our addiction.

Unfortunately addiction is about relationships, and when we stay in relationships with people who are using, we are also affected by their using. It is what we do about the situation that has the power to influence the outcome, what we do about the situation to take care of ourselves, not control the other person.

There are no simple answers and it is a wild ride, but facing the difficulties of addiction and substance abuse ultimately frees us from the tyranny of patterns of dominance and deprivation. And that is worth fighting for every single day.

Love to you and your family. There is help and you will feel better.

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Re: Addiction?

Postby JosephDunn » April 11th, 2017, 10:18 pm

I am so sorry you are having to deal with issues that are arising from your husband's choices and decisions.
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