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My Husband is in Detox. What Happens Next?

by In the dark!

When I met my husband in 1995 he had just been charged with DUI for the 4th time since the age of 16. His mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. He made the choice to straighten out his life and became sober. Two years later we married and in that time he never had a single drink.

Fast forward to today. Yesterday after 12 years of marriage, 2 children and heavy drinking - he finally checked himself into a local Detox Centre.
All the typical things have happened along the way including us being separated for 9 months.

However today we are very much together - whether right or wrong I have made the decision to stay thus far. I love him and he is a great Dad, very involved with the kids. His drinking happens after they go to bed pretty much every night until the wee hours of the morning.

We have our own business and unfortunately he misses work more often then he is there leaving the responsibility up to me. However he is never physically abusive.

But getting back to the question ... what I want to know is what can I expect when he comes home from detox? How can I make it a positive experience? Will they call me and let me know he is coming home? What is the process at detox?

If he becomes seriously ill during the process will I be contacted? Will they discuss further treatment options with him as I know that this is just step one of the journey? I have so many questions and seem to be unable to get the answers. I would like to call the centre to see how he is doing but I'm not sure that they will even tell me.

It has been a long road to this point, getting him to seek professional help, and I want to ensure I'm doing everything in my power to help him succeed. I have been sick with worry but putting on a happy face for the kids. They are nine and twelve and think their Dad has gone away for business for 4 - 7 days.

Thanks for listening.


Detox is simply a period of a few days, whereby under professional medical care, the process of quitting drinking is carefully managed, so as not to endanger your husband's health (which if not done is a supervised way such as this, can be the case).

So have no fear that should they need to, the detox center will contact you, like would be the case in any normal medical environment. So feel comforted that these people no doubt know what they are doing and there is no need to worry unduly.

The big question though is, what happens next? Because as you clearly understand this is only one part of the journey.

I'm sure the detox facility will discuss further treatment options with your husband - because ideally you want to couple the two, move straight from detox onto an alcoholism addiction treatment program - which most rehabs/treatment facilities offer.

Because there is a lot more to overcoming alcoholism successfully than simply detoxing. It's a process that requires enormous inner change and transformation, which a proper treatment program would help your husband get started with.

It doesn't end there however - because after treatment comes the alcoholism recovery process - whereby your husband has to keep working at it to ensure he stays sober and doesn't end up relapsing.

So the best thing you can do as his wife - is to insist and support him in going through this process. There are no quick fixes or short-cuts to overcoming an addiction, so if your husband tries to tell you he'll do it his way or that he doesn't need help - don't let him get away with that. Being firm is the best thing you can do for someone fighting an addiction.

Ultimately nobody can force your husband to change however. He has to want it for himself. The signs are good that he checked himself into detox, but it mustn't end there. Detox is only the beginning. Hopefully though this becomes the start of a new life for you both.

Best of Luck.

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