How long can a diabetic live with alcoholism and drug addiction?

Loonymoon asked...

My husband is a diabetic,with alcohol cirrhosis, Hepatitis D and a crystal meth abuser. His diabetes is out of control, his a1C is up and down. He had a GI bleed 5 years ago and was told he had to quit drinking, yet still continues too and abuse drugs daily. We have been separated now for almost 3 years and he still refuses to get help. He is 60 years old. How long can someone with his health problems continue without serious side effects?

Expert Answer

Theresa Garnero is clinical nurse manager of Diabetes Services at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

As a nurse, it is not in my realm of expertise to predict health outcomes. His doctor would be best equipped to respond. That said, with the number of significant issues facing your husband, I would think that the timeline is short before he experiences a serious health consequence. For some people, that's what triggers an interest in self-care. He has to be ready to make a change.

He currently continues to use drugs and alcohol, and refuses help. That is a huge strain on those in his family circle. The best you can do is take care of yourself. Have you considered seeking professional counseling from a local recovery program for families of addicts? Alternatively, an Al-Anon meeting may be useful (specializes in the effects alcoholism has on the family) as well as a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. It is difficult, but time well spent. You can take action "” if you haven't already "” rather than wait the other shoe to drop.