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My husband is addicted to sleep. He feels that he needs to be nearly unconscious every night and resorts to prescription sleeping pills, over the counter drugs and alcohol to get there. He is 75, a diabetic, and has had a quad by-pass. He is showing signs of dementia, (get's lost or forgets where he was going, get's dates confused, loses his insulin, syringes, hearing aids, doesn't remember trips he's been on or purchases made,) but it's hard to know if his symptoms are caused by Alzheimer's or the substance abuse or both. He is paranoid about being persecuted by others, collects guns and ammo and put motion detectors and cameras around our house. He applied for and got a firearms carry permit in Florida several years ago. He was arrested two years ago for making threatening gestures with a hand gun while driving and warned against carrying a pistol openly a few months ago at our neighborhood park. Recently when I was trying to help him with something he got really frustrated with me. He had a gun on the table beside him and commented to me that "if I haven't shot you by now, I guess I never will." He can be completely disoriented in the morning, but can answer all the right questions during doctor's visits, which he schedules for late afternoon when most of the drugs have worn off. He's had several serious auto accidents and often falls during the night if he gets up. He's been to the ER so many times I've lost count, but refuses to stay after being stabilized and signs himself out against doctors orders. I've been advised to have him Baker Acted, which I have done, but, once again, as soon as the drugs and alcohol are out of his system, he is coherent enough to get himself released. Does he have to kill himself or somebody else before anyone takes the problem seriously enough to get him into rehab?

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Kroskow, hearing diabetes and alcohol in the same sentence always makes me nervous. Diabetics really should not drink, and if they do, then only a bit. It could be that your husband is going through metabolic dementia each morning. It clears some as his blood chemistry improves during the day, but he is damaging his brain. There may come a time that it won't improve during the day because the damage is too bad. I wouldn't be surprised if that time is soon, from what you wrote.

The hands of the law are tied until he commits a crime. The only thing you can do is to get away from him and not let him know where you are. Warn law enforcement people that he is a danger, and know that you did the best you could. I wish you could take the firing pins out of his guns or disable them in some other way. I do wish the police would find some reason to get the gun out of his possession. Unstable people should not be allowed to own one. (Legally they aren't, but proving them unstable is the problem.)
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Thank you for all the caring concern. We are living somewhat separately for the time being. He has moved to a condo we recently purchased and I'm staying at our older home until it sells. I have also talked to an attorney about my options once that happens. Until I re-read my post, I didn't realize how casual I sounded talking about the situation. That was a wake-up call for me; I'd gotten so accustomed to my situation I had begun to think of it as normal. I am taking pro-active steps to protect myself and will continue to post to keep you all up to date. Thanks again for the feedback I truly needed.
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This is terrifying to read...yet because you are in the middle of it, you write about kind of "casually" which I'm sure you don't feel!!

You need to get away from him---better yet to get him away from everyone. All those triggers and he also owns guns---this is not going to end well.

It sounds like he needs a serious evaluation (in the am) and then being placed in a secure facility. Sadly, yes, something awful would have to happen before he's noticed. This sounds sadly like a man in my neighborhood who finally DID kill someone before the police and family could do something. Now he's serving life in prison---a life in a NH would be better than prison!!

Stay strong!! This is serious.
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I am also scared for you. Yes it will require him to do something drastic for him to be detained for a long period of time.

You can only change yourself. I was in your situation and I was almost killed...I got VERY lucky...you may not be so lucky. Please get away from him ... make that the first order of business. Get somewhere safe, put a restraining order on him and they will remove him from your home so you can return.

Once you are safe...then you can take action on the other things, such as having his guns taken away etc.

You will NEVER be able to make him choose to stop using, only he can do that. And by the looks of it, he won't himself. He is showing signs of alcohol/drug induced dementia...this is a very very dangerous situation.

Please please get out, before you get beaten and threatened for years like I did. Please learn from my mistakes.

Angel
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Yes, from your terrifying description it sounds like he will have to kill himself or someone else before he stops becoming a danger to society and/or himself.

Addiction to alcohol and pills, paranoia, and guns laying around the house?? It's only a matter of time before a tragedy occurs.

I'm scared for you.
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What a scary story! I am so sorry you are a part of it.

Have you notified the doctor who prescribes the sleeping pills that he is taking them with alcohol and OTC pills? Even if the doctor can't talk to you because of confidentiality concerns, it seems to me he or she should know what is going on.

I wonder if there is a single prescription med that would give your husband the "almost unconscious state" he thinks he needs, without the addition of alcohol or other drugs. That might be safer. I kind of doubt he would accept that, but if the doctor ordered it ... who knows?

You are doing what you can to keep him from being a threat to others. Now protect yourself. I think you need him out of there. Maybe that would be a wake-up call that would get his attention.

I am so, so sorry for the situation you are in. For all our advances in medical science, we really don't have good infrastructure for dealing with the mentally ill.
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I too am frightened for you. Take the wise advice of those who have posted their responses. Leave, and perhaps don't tell him you're leaving -- just pack a suitcase and go. Do you have a friend who understands? If not, call a shelter -- you are in danger here. His statement that "if I haven't shot you by now, I guess I never will" speaks volumes ... it means he's thought of it.

I was once in your situation. I was so immersed in that it I didn't see it for what it was. Re-read your post. And keep us in the loop.

Good luck.
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Remove the guns from the house or lock them up. If at all possible, try to get his meds changed, and you might have to hand them out to him. He may not be capable of taking them himself. And just because he hasn't shot you so far, doesn't mean he won't, and maybe shoot himself. The possibilities are horrifying.
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How frightening to live your life waiting for something terrible to happen.
Please call his Doctor and discuss or at least tell him that your husband is combining alcohol and the RX medications. Would it be possible to go to a gun store and buy all blanks and replace his bullets with blanks? Make sure to put them in the boxes the bullets came in and then turn all ammunition in to the local police department and get all the love ammo out of the house. Trigger locks on guns can also prevent accidental discharge when a person is waving a loaded gun around and intoxicated.
Develop a safety plan for yourself including copies of all important papers in a second location away from your house. Stash a set of car keys outside where you can get away even without your purse. Keep money and other valuables in a safety deposit box or separate account so that money or lack of it will not prevent you from being able to leave when you need to stay safe.
Go to your local Police precinct and notify them what is going on. They need to be forewarned in case there is a disturbance call one day and they pull up and see your husband waving a gun around so they don't shoot first and ask questions later.
Perhaps attend an Al-Annon Meeting or see a Therapist so that you can stay safe.
If you really want action you will have to report him to the Police when he is drunk or drugged, and waving a gun around or threatening you. The more Police contacts the better chance that he will be either referred to treatment by the courts or Adult Protective Service.
My heart goes out to you...... families are the first line of advocacy for someone in trouble. Your must get the authorities involved in order for any agencies to get him on their radar.
Good luck..... I think you are going to need it.
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I agree with the suggestion to speak with the doctor who is prescribing the pills first of all and then the pharmacy that is filling the prescription. If that doesn't work, call the agency who regulates the doctor in your state, probably the state board and report the doctor. He/she could lose his/her license to practice.
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