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Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Will My Husband Ever Quit Abusing Narcotics?

I am 26 years old and my husband is 21. He is completely addicted to opiates and refuses treatment. When he is high he says he wants help to quit but when I try and take him he gets angry with me and tells me its my fault that he gets high that he can't stand to be around me sober. He threatens me with divorce, disrespects me and degrades me. He has become physically violent once and now I am completely afraid to be alone with him while he is sober.

I love my husband and I just want him to get help. I am pretty sure he has underlining mental issues and that he is self-medicating himself so that he doesn't have to face those issues. He is a soldier and suffers from anxiety and PTSD that I know of and I have a really strong feeling that he is a sociopath. He fits almost every tendency of a sociopath when he is sober but when he is high he is an angel.

Yesterday he was high and begged me to get him help but by the time I got him to the hospital and he saw the doctor he was sober and wanted no part of any kind of treatment. He had me kicked out of the room and denied to the doctor that anything was wrong. He spends every penny we make on pills and we can no longer afford to support ourselves. Fortunately we do not have any kids and  it's just me and him.

I am trying to decide if I should leave him and just move on or should I keep fighting to get him help even though he keeps saying to me that he doesn't want it and that he is leaving me.

Is there anyway I can make the courts give me the right to decide his medical treatments so that I can force him to go to a psychiatric facility. He has told me before when he was high he has hallucinations and hears people that are not there. He has tried to kill me and tells me often how he will kill me. He has made suicidal comments to me and has told me that he wants to kill other people. I have told all of his doctors this and no one will help me. They keep telling me that we can't force him to get help.

When he is high he actually thinks clearly and knows he is wrong for doing the pills and keeps apologizing and promising me that he will stop and that he knows he screwed up and that something is wrong with him but the moment he is sober all hell breaks loose and he turns into a monster.

I am afraid for my life when he is sober and we are alone. He started off just taking the pain pills like normal then he started snorting them and then smoking them and now he is shooting them up I am afraid that shooting them up will eventually not be enough for him and he will have to switch to a harder drug. Currently my husband can consume around a 1000 milligrams in a day or less. Not only is this killing us finaincially but also our marriage is destroyed and I am afraid for my life as well as his. But I know addiction is a sickness and I know he's sick and he needs help.

I need help getting him the help he needs regardless of whether he wants it or not. I cannot just sit back and let my husband kill himself!!!!!

Please help me. I know that he has given up on himself and he does not care about consequences of his actions and he has no regards for his personal health and safety. If he gave up why should I keep fighting for him? I can't help a person who doesn't want to be helped but I can't stand the thought of leaving him not knowing if there was something I could do to help him. And I would definitely fall to pieces if he overdosed and passed away. I would 100% blame myself because I know how bad off he is and how badly he needs help.!!

 Please, please what can I do?

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Disclaimer

  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
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  • No correspondence takes place.
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