Low-Cost In-Patient Drug Programs

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2003

Hello Ms. Nay,

I've read your articles and I find them very encouraging. My husband has been a drug addict for 5 years. He has also been diagnosed with depressive tendencies (but not with bipolar depression). He has a chemical imbalance, which runs in his family very strongly. He is on medication (paxil and risperdal), which make him very, very lethargic. We have 3 small children and a 4th on the way. I have supported us for the 5 years that he has been an addict. I work 2 jobs (commute almost 2 hours away with my main job), I am attending school to finish my undergraduate degree, which I will later follow up with an MBA. Aside from being the breadwinner, I take care of all of the responsibilities the household (ie bills, grocery shopping etc).

I have tried many times to get my husband some kind of help. We have Kaiser, however they are very difficult to work with. At one point, my husband's counselor told him to just divorce me. I firmly believe that he needs to be admitted to an inpatient program. However, Kaiser seems very unwilling to assist us. They continue to refer us to an outpatient program, which my husband has unsuccessfully tried almost 4 times. Any other inpatient program requires a hefty financial commitment, that I cannot make since I have supporting a family of 5 on my own salary.

My husband has continuously promised to quit his habit. He says that he really wants to quit. However, he always seems to return to it after returning to a comfort zone. He does help me around the house and with the children, however it is not consistent, and it is only enough to say "I did something today". His family is not supportive at all and is very distant.  In fact, his mother has taken in her brother who is also a user and seller.  However, she is not willing to help her own son. Her brother is where my husband obtains the drugs from and does not charge him because he is family.  His mother knows this, however still continues to allow her brother to stay there. Her justification is that at least her brother tries to help around the house. I am certain that most of the family is not involved with drugs, aside from my husband's brother, who says he I s a recreational user. They are all very judgmental and very unfeeling.

I have basically exhausted any lending ear around me. I feel very alone and trapped. I do love my husband, but am not sure if I am "in love" with him.  However, I feel that those feelings could return if he can get himself clean. The reason for this letter is to inquire help on other resources available within my means for my husband. We seem to be limited despite the fact we have insurance. Every source of professional help that we've encountered has turned out to be a disappointment. I am very tired, frustrated, depressed, hopeless and very, very drained. I'm not quite sure where to turn at this point.

Please help.
Thank you,

Without a lot of Dough


Dear Without a lot of Dough,

Salvation Army In-Patient Drug Program is fairly low cost, but they only have about a 12% success rate.   They are a 21-day program.

Places like:

Sauna Detoxification Pgm

Cleans body of drugs, other toxins Long-term drug rehab now with a open 87% success rate.  It is a 4 month program costing $21000.00.

From: www.narcononstonehawk.com

Passages Rehab Center

Residential treatment center for substance abuse. 91% success rate

From: www.passagesmalibu.com

Places that are doing a good job, because they are a long-term program, will want a lot of money.  Places that turn out their clients in a short time seem to be a revolving door.  The clients check in and get a little help (almost as little as out-patient) and check out only to fall back into old habits, behaviors, and bad friends.  It takes time and a lot of help to get clean.  Unfortunately it also takes a lot of money. 

You have to ask yourself these questions:

·        How much money is your husband using to keep his habit?

·        How much is it over a year’s time?

·        Is this about the same as getting him the care he needs?

·        Is the cost of this relationship more that it is worth to you and the children?

If the outlay of money is about the same for getting care as it is for supporting your husband’s habit… get him the help!

If you cannot afford the help he needs, and there is no guarantee that he will quit now or in the future, you may want to separate until he can prove up using the out-patient programs. 

It seems to me, if he really wanted to clean-up he could do it.  He has to be able to tell you that it is the program’s fault not him, to validate his keeping his habit to you and to himself.   No one wants to believe they are so weak that they cannot control their behavior, but this is exactly that has happened.

He cannot go back to his old habits, thinking, friends, drug surroundings and think that he can stay clean.  It will never happen. 

There is another point that you are not addressing.  Children model their behavior after what they see in their parents.  Who is the model that the children see 24 –7, you or your husband?  They learn that when stress happens, to cope- take drugs.  To be happy, take drugs.  Is this the message you want them to get, because that is what they are seeing. 

The loss of a husband to drugs is great, but I think and even greater loss would be to lose your children to it!

You can still love a person and hate their behavior.  Some behaviors cannot be condoned and the person needs to leave until he can get himself under control.  Sometimes a person has to loose everything before they realize they need to change.

You cannot change his behavior, but you can change your behavior towards him, which forces him to make some change. Whether it is for good or bad, you will cause change. 

I’m sorry that I do not have better news for you, but those are the facts.  I hope you have the strength of character to do what you need to do.

Best wishes,

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

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