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Does Sobriety Court really work?

My husband got his second DUI.  After his first he got sober for three years, but when his dad died he started again.  I didn't want to deal with all of this again so I told him I was filing for divorce.  He asked me not to and he was going into a two year sobriety program.  At first he is drug tested twice a day.  He has to attend AA meetings daily.  He is in a outpatient alcohol treatment program run by the hospital.  He has to see counselors.  He will lose his license for 45 days and then he has to get an ignition interlock device on his truck.  He has a curfew and random checks by the police.  This is a two year program.  I just wonder if this really works.  The program boasts that very few graduates reoffend...but that only means they are not getting DUIs.  They could be drinking after the two years.

I don't want to live with an alcoholic anymore, but if this really works I am willing to stick around.  He is not abusive and we get along most of the time.

Also, the pamplet says all vehicles he owns must be equipped with an ignition device.  He is on the title of my car!  I don't drink!  I am not going to blow into a device to drive my kids to school.  I guess I need to talk to his lawyer about this.
4 Responses
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1235186 tn?1549257619
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hello and welcome. I understand your frustration, concerns, worries, sadness, hurts and all the uncertainty that living with an addict entails.
I lived with my husband's addiction for 14, yes 14 years. Every time I write it or say it it is hard to believe. It would seem I was naive or stupid. I am neither.

my husband was an addict in recovery when we married, he had been clean for 7 years and was clean for 5 more years into our marriage.
he then relapsed and used for 14 years of our marriage. he hid it well in the beginning, only using here and there. The first time I suspected he was using he confessed, was very sorry. We did some counseling and he was clean for another year or so. He was a very high functioning addict. he always worked and provided for our family. there were years when I didn't even know he was using. Then as time went on, I suspected, I knew for sure because I found pills. He then began to deny, lie, manipulate, blame everything and everybody but himself.
He started on methadone and then used Xanax and alcohol. this is when  his addiction progressed.
the last 5 years before he got clean were a living hell. I was physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally sick. We get just as sick as they are. Our whole family suffers.  I suffered extreme panic attacks, I was hospitalized a few times, with symptoms of heart attack and stroke,  migraine headaches, stomach issues my anxiety was off the charts. my children also suffered from our fighting and the dysfunction in our home.
I asked him so many times to leave and said he pays the bills.
finally he left, he got much worse when he left, even suicidal.

I am a Christian. I believe in the LORD. I always had a lot of faith that he would stop using, so I stayed. I didn't want to break up our family, didn't want the children to have divorced parents, didn't want to take them away from their home, school and friends.

No amount of pleading, crying, begging, threatening caused him to change.
I continued to believe, pray, hope that he would want to be clean. In the beginning I was afraid he would overdose, die in a car accident, get mugged while trying  to cop drugs, get arrested. I was worried and sad. Then as time went on I wanted him to die, I hated him. This was the only way I thought we could stop the insanity. I didn't want to divorce him.

I didn't share with many people, the embarrassment, the  shame and trying to protect my family seemed the right thing to do. I then started to ask for support, shared my concerns with a few close friends, family and our pastor.
He denied and lied to them also as they confronted him. Stating I was crazy.
It wasn't until he was sick and tired of being sick and tired, scared for his life,
That he changed.
We were separated for one year, and as I said he became suicidal.
He was ready to change his life. He went to a Christian men's program for three months. He has been clean for 4 1/2 years .

So will a court appointed drug court work? Nothing works until they are ready to make it work. He must  want to be in recovery. He will have to continue to work a program. My husband never went to a meeting. He decided he wanted to be clean. He reads his bible, ministers to other addicts, prays and he has stayed clean. My husband was  the director of the drug and alcohol program in 1989 that he went into in 2010. He had been there as a patient. He completed the 18 month program, went to bible school, got a ministers license then went back and became the director. He went full circle back into the same  program as 25 years earlier.

Even after two years your husband will never be able to drink again. He could never control it. He should attend counseling to find out why he drinks. Old emotional wounds, pain, scars. He needs to learn to live life on its terms. I am sorry his dad died. Death is a trigger for many people who have been clean and sober.they want to escape the hurts and emotional pain they feel.

I never knew about al-anon, nar-anon, celebrate recovery, I didn't search the internet for answers. I essentially had no support. I would encourage you to seek as much help as you can get for your recovery. Counseling, support groups for the loved ones of addicts, read about addiction, exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, take care of you and your children. I don't know how old they are. I had my children in counseling.

All of our problems also stemmed from my husband's addiction, our marriage, finances, communication, lies, deceit, fighting, dysfunction.
Now that he is clean things are much better. We are healing.

Please don't isolate. Get support. Keep talking.
I would put the car in your name so you don't have to worry about the locking device.
I hope and pray your husband has  come to the end of his rope. That he is ready to live life clean, independent of the court making him.
Sending support, encouragement and prayers.
Keep the faith.
There is always hope,
Debbie


Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you for your inspiring story.  I went to a family rehab meeting today and I have seen changes in my husband I have never seen before.  

The last time he had a DUI he was angry and thought the AA meetings and treatment program were a waste of time.  He never looked remorseful and was actually angry at me for being upset with him.  When he had the second DUI when he called me from the jail he got angry when I didn't comfort him.  All I said was, "Dammit" and he hung up on me all pissed off.  After Detox he still appeared angry.  He was furious that I asked him to stay at his mother's house for a while.  

He has started a hospital outpatient treatment program and he actually expressed shame and remorse during the group meeting I attended.  I know most alcoholics fake that stuff...but he never once showed any real remorse in the past.  If he is faking it now he is doing a great job.

I will watch and see what happens to him.  Hopefully he will decide he wants to be sober instead of thinking, "I have to be sober until I am done with parole."
Helpful - 0
3197167 tn?1348968606
When an alcoholic stops drinking by force....and doesn't WILLINGLY follow up with/continue a recovery program......the death of a parent can easily re-ignite the addiction.  I'm not surprised....he was just "white knuckling it".  I have a step son that did that once, but because their was no true heart change and no recovery program worked...no surrender...as soon as depression and/or stress or lifey life happened, he went back to drinking.

I think this program sounds REALLY good.....and I think keeping an open mind is good.  I also think attending Al-Anon would be a HUGE benefit to you as his wife.  If he truly "gets it"......then his behavior, his tone of voice, his actions, his attendance voluntarily at meetings, his body language will all change.  You will see healing at it's best.   Not without some trials...but the accountability this program provides is wonderful.  And you will be able to tell if he is just "paying the piper".  
As far as the requirement of the breathalyzer device on ALL cars titled to your hubby.....that makes sense....because he could drive YOUR car under the influence, too.  Two things, maybe the attorney can advise you to take him off the title and see if that would work.....or you could do this just because you love him.  
I would  breathe fire into the face of my loved ones if I thought it would help them to get and STAY clean and sober.  I learned in Al-Anon that it is always healthy to support my loved one in recovery...NOT active addiction.
It is the best gift I can give to someone I love that has this insidious disease
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I will probably get the car titled in my name.  I have children and I am not going to blow into a breathalyzer interlock system just to drive them to school or their scout meetings.  I'm a non-drinkerl.  Anyway, he doesn't have access to my car.  I have the keys and he is now living with his mother so he can hopefully go to Sobriety Court (We live a few miles past the county line and he has to be legally living in the county to attend). If he took my car I would call the police on him.

Tomorrow he goes to court and we will find out if he will be given sobriety Court and the two year program or go to jail.  I can't see jail helping him in anyway.  I hope he is allowed to enter the two year program.
Helpful - 0
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