Substance Abuse & Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

The American media and the ease with which current events are disseminated has left everyone with a news outlet capable of hearing stories about their favorite celebrities’ trips to rehab for substance abuse.  With the recent revelations that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoked crack cocaine, comedian Artie Lange’s substance abuse and suicide attempts, Josh Brolin’s recent drunken bar brawl and subsequent swearing off of liquor,  ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas being treated for alcohol dependence, and ‘Glee’ star Cory Monteith’s death from an overdose, it’s clear that substance abuse is a very real and dangerous thing.

 While those are certainly the most visible to the public at large, celebrities are not the only ones susceptible to substance abuse.  Even the average individual is occasionally reported on when their substance abuse leads to a tragic event.  Many people are often afraid to leave a spouse who suffers from substance abuse.  More still are concerned that if they leave, their spouse may spiral further out of control.  Substance abuse is a dangerous thing, it can lead to serious strains on a marriage and it should never be dismissed lightly.

There is no simple answer when it comes to diagnosing and treating substance abuse, but it is often triggered by a more serious underlying problem. You may not have even been aware that your spouse had a problem until after you were married. Perhaps you thought the wild party days would cease after marriage.  Perhaps there was no problem but one has developed.  Whatever the case, substance abuse can lead to more serious economic and often life threatening events.

While divorce can be a difficult avenue to pursue, it may be the only one if you have considered and/or exhausted other avenues in an attempt to salvage the marriage and get the help your spouse needs.  Consider very seriously what the potential outcomes can be and ask yourself under what circumstances you and/or your family will be better off.  It may be necessary to distance yourself and your family from the abuser not only for your benefit but potentially theirs as well.

If you, your loved one, or someone you know is suffering from a spouse’s substance abuse and/or addiction, there is still a chance to escape the marriage before more serious or even tragic consequences evolve. Be sure to tell the person you are concerned for and/or contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney for yourself to find out what your options are.

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