Love and support will help your spouse seek the proper treatment for addiction.

Love and support will help your spouse seek the proper treatment for addiction.

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Dear Alicia,

I am in desperate need of help. My husband has been suffering from an addiction to prescription pain medicine.

This has been going on for longer than I care to admit. I was blind to it because he never had any issues with addiction before. He had a small business that was growing and a beautiful, healthy baby boy and another on the way.

We had a great marriage and it seemed we had won life!

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All of a sudden, my husband lost a great deal of weight (he was already in good shape, so the weight loss was quite obvious). Everyone would ask him about it, but we shrugged it off because he just gave up drinking soda.

Soon his whole attitude started changing as well. He said it was because he doesn’t have many friends and he’s just feeling a little lonely.

Well, the weight loss continued, followed by bouts of vomiting — way more than any grown man should. I finally got really nervous, not in a million years thinking he had a drug problem. So I made him go to the doctor and get a full blood screening and physical.

Nothing much turned up so I ignored it thinking he was just ill and a bit stressed. Soon enough, his behavior went from bad to worse. He stopped sleeping in bed (always “fell asleep” on the couch) and our amazing marriage was falling apart.

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All of a sudden I was feeling strapped for cash. Our utilities got shut off, my car was repossessed, the whole nine yards. There shouldn’t have been any reason at all that we didn’t have ample money.

Any time I asked about it, he would say “I’m waiting on a lot of payments from my customers.” I was none the wiser because he took care of all the finances. I should have taken more control.

(We were moving), and I searched high and low for a place we would love, and a week before we had to move, I found the perfect place. The morning I was going to see it, I asked him for a check, so if I liked it, I would be able to give them a deposit right away. This was approximately three months after he received a huge check for one of the projects he does every year. We should have had almost $30,000 in the bank.

He told me he can’t give me a check and that he has no money. My heart sank and I didn’t know quite how to react, especially because our boys were right there. He said we’d talk about it when I got home. When I got home, he told me he has a gambling problem.

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Now, still to this day, I have no idea if that is true or not. I just can’t see him gambling all our money on slot machines!

We still have no money, my car got repossessed AGAIN! He refuses to give me any access to the bank account. He has lost most of his business and I found text messages from him to an unknown person asking for pills.

At first, I had to look up the slang for all these pills. He’s spending about $300 per week on pills!

I’m so overwhelmed by all of this and I don’t know which way is up anymore. All I do know is that I will do whatever I have to do to protect my children, even if that means from him! Anything else is a blur right now. I need help on what to do in this situation.

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If someone would have shown me what my life was going to look like five years ago, I would have laughed in their face! This is so out of hand. I am just at such a loss! Please help!!!

Name withheld


Dear Friend,

Thank you for sharing your experience. Your story is commonplace across America. A family who once had it all but is now struggling to pay basic bills in large part due to a loved one apparently struggling with addiction.

In some cases, the disease of addiction turns deadly because people turn a blind eye to the issue that is blatantly progressing in front of them.

In my experience, they make excuses and lie even though everyone around them suspects what is really happening. Studies have shown that some of your family or friends may try to bring it to your attention in subtle ways because they don’t want to ruin a good relationship.

Unfortunately, in those cases, this prevents the real issue from coming to light. Often spouses or families feel that moving away can solve their problems, but it merely relocates them, bringing the problem along.

Addicts become extremely creative in keeping their drug abuse secret from loved ones, case studies show. That’s why drug counselors suggest family members learn as much as possible about the disease.

Frequently, the progression of the addiction continues until the signs are undeniable. Families often wait for a crisis before reaching out for professional help and guidance.

Experts suggest that spouses who suspect their loved one of abusing drugs start investigating by looking into whether bills are being paid, money is missing or there’s info on phones pertaining to drug abuse. In my experience, they can also look through cars and clothes for drug paraphernalia in order to show undeniably that there is a problem.

Medical professionals also recommend making sure the entire family is on the same page and ready and willing to make the addict aware that negative behavior will not be accepted without consequences.

Love and support is integral.

But family members must also do whatever it takes to make the addict see there’s a need for treatment, drug counselors say.

Often, the addict no longer has the ability to think rationally, making it essential for family members to step in, medical experts say.

When the addict sees that there is help waiting, the likelihood of accepting that assistance becomes greater than the alternative options.

Stay strong. Love is a powerful tool. Also, please get plugged in to support groups so that you can remain strong and continue to be a good parent to your children because often your energy will be consumed with the addict.

These are Palermo-Reddy’s opinions based on her experience with a range of patients, but are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Every case is unique and complex and requires individually designed action.

Alicia Palermo-Reddy is an opioid addiction counselor. She invites readers touched by the scourge to send their stories. She will select some to publish and offer her experience. Names will be withheld but must be verified. Email her at addictionangel@nydailynews.com.

Article Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/woman-struggles-husband-seek-treatment-addiction-article-1.3418218