Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Counseling For Spouses Of Drug Addicts

Recognizing Signs Of Enabling

Family Roles When Addiction Takes Hold

Although an addiction seems to be driven by the person with the addiction, it is often a relationship problem. Even if not living with addiction themselves, a person may inadvertently enable their partner’s addiction. And when both partners in the relationship have addictions, it may be more difficult for either to quit.

Enabling behaviors are things that a partner does that allow the addiction to continue, often without meaning to, such as covering up, cleaning up messes, lending money, and taking care of the other persons responsibilities.

Counseling for relationship problems can help both partners to become aware of these enabling behaviors and can help both partners to break these patterns of enabling.

Addiction And Support Resources For Spouses And Partners

Al-Anon: One of the most well-known and respected 12-Step programs in the world, Al-Anon is a group open to those who had been affected by alcohol addiction, including not only spouses and partners but also children, parents, and friends.

Couple Recovery from Addiction: This support organization follows a holistic healing model of couple-based addiction recovery, focusing not only on the recovery of the addicted spouse but of the relationship as well.

Nar-Anon: The counterpart program to Al-Anon, Nar-Anon is a 12-Step support group for the loved ones of people with substance use disorders beyond alcohol.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: The National Domestic Violence website is both a repository of resources and informational material for the victims and survivors of domestic abuse as well as a hotline that can provide immediate crisis intervention and support: 1-800-799-SAFE .

Recovering Couples Anonymous: While not affiliated specifically with Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovering Couples Anonymous functions on the same 12-Step principles of recovery, modified for couples.

SMART Recovery Family & Friends: SMART Recovery is a non-religious support alternative to groups like Al-Anon. The Family & Friends group is a part of the SMART Recovery system specifically geared towards the spouses, family, and friends of the person in recovery.

Written by: Megan Hesse

Reasons To Continue Supporting Them

These are just a few of the reasons why it is important to continuously support your spouse. They are going to need someone to help them through the struggles they will encounter in the recovery process.

  • Facing challenges isnt as difficult with support. Having someone to rely on when temptations or obstacles arise makes those emotions seem manageable.
  • You can hold them responsible for their actions. Sometimes, addicts become too confident in recovery or fall back in old behavior patterns. A loved one provides valuable insight into their behavior. This accountability can help them address the issues.
  • Their confidence and self-esteem grow when they have the support they need. It feels good to have people who want to be around you and who care for your success. It is the same with overcoming addiction a cheering section in their favor will help them have a more positive outlook on the future.

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What About You When Dealing With Addiction Has Taken Over Your Life

When we love somebody who is addicted to alcohol and/or drugs we lose ourselves in their ongoing crisis. We forget that we are important too. Life is centered on helping the alcoholic or addict, or just dealing with the constant chaos their addiction creates. Our lives are thrown off-balance and we become emotionally sick. Like recovery from addiction itself, recovery for family members starts with admitting that we have a problem and seeking help.

There are many support groups for families and friends of alcoholics and drug addicts. Addiction is a worldwide crisis and there are many, many people who share your difficulties in loving someone with an addiction. Like you, they became lost in the crisis of dealing with their loved ones addiction. They found support and healing by connecting with other people who have addicted loved ones.

Frequently, when you take your focus off of your sick loved one and put it back where it belongson yourself and your own life, the addict will follow your example and seek recovery. However, this should not be your primary motivation for seeking help. Though it may not seem like it after a long, heartbreaking struggle trying to save your loved one who has the disease of addiction, you are a valuable person and your well-being is just as important.

What Are Common Sources Of Conflict Between Addicts And Partners


The drugs themselves can obviously cause a variety of problems on their own in all relationships. However, drug addiction can so profoundly impact a persons life that it can simultaneously lead to several relationship problems.

These are all issues that may cause problems between yourself and your spouse. Therapy can help you work through many of them, but in the end, the best results are obtained via recovery from addiction. It takes time to recover from the addiction and the aftermath of addictive behavior.

If the relationship issues are not dealt with, you can expect ongoing conflicts in your marriage. Just because your spouse is in recovery does not mean they are automatically better in all areas. You will both benefit from plenty of communication and couples therapy or another method of dealing with these problems.

Remember that ongoing conflict can spark a relapse, so its essential to resolve the problems that keep cropping up. While your spouse may be in recovery, that doesnt eliminate all issues, nor does it negate the betrayals that occurred during the addiction.

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Types Of Support Groups For Families Of Drug Or Alcohol Addicts

Several support groups offer services across the U.S. specifically geared toward families of individuals battling drug addiction or alcoholism, including:6,7

Al-Anon Family Groups: Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship program for families and friends of alcoholics. The program does not focus on trying to get a loved one to stop compulsive drinking, but instead addresses common problems faced by the loved ones of alcoholics.

Nar-Anon Family Groups: Nar-Anon is a 12-step program for anyone who is affected by another persons addiction. Loved ones are able to address the struggles they face through a structured, step-by-step process surrounded by others fighting similar battles to provide additional support and encouragement.

Families Anonymous: Families Anonymous is another 12-step program for families and friends of people with drug addiction and related problems. Anyone who is concerned about the destructive behavior of a loved one is welcome to attend.

Learn to Cope: Learn to Cope is a peer support network for families affected by drug addiction. They offer local face-to-face meetings at several locations throughout Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, and Idaho, in addition to myriad online support resources and forums.

Support Groups For Children Of Parents With Abuse And Addiction Problems

Of all family members, children may be most impacted by substance abuse and addiction. Children of drug addicts often grow up in a chaotic world full of stress, traumatic experiences, and confusion.1 Drug addiction can take over a persons life and prevent them from being a good parent to their children. Children of addicts may be neglected, abused, ignored, dismissed, or fully abandoned.

Addiction can also take a toll on adult children when parents start abusing drugs after their children have already left the house and started lives of their own. These children may end up dealing with their parents addiction in a variety of ways. They may have excessive concern and worry over the parents condition and health. Some may end up covering the costs of living for parents who have financial struggles due to their addiction.

No matter the individual circumstances, addiction can take a toll on children of all ages. There are a variety of support programs and resources available not only to young children, but also to adult children of addicted parents, including the following:

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Drug Addiction Tips For Spouses

Each marriage is unique, and each couple has its own routines and boundaries. However, if youre living with a spouse suffering from drug addiction, it creates a lot of stress, anxiety, and despair for you and for the marriage relationship. In the United States, drug addiction is the sixth leading cause of divorce.

You love your partner and want your marriage to survive the addiction. Its entirely possible for that to happen. You just need to be prepared for dealing with the addiction and the recovery process. First, you need to recognize the signs of drug addiction within your marriage. Some of these signs are symptoms of other issues but the more signs that point to drug addiction means the more likely that it is an addiction. Here are some signs to look out for within your marriage:

  • Your spouse is disconnected from their surroundings.
  • Your partner spends more time away from home without you in settings, such as a bar or party.
  • They struggle at work or get fired.
  • Your spouse drives while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • They put other peoples life at risk.
  • You notice money missing without a reasonable explanation.

How To Leave A Spouse That Is A Drug Addict

Step 9: Restitution and Reconciliation – Johns Story on Drug Addiction Recovery

Being married to a drug addict is not something that you might have ever imagined happening to you. Or, you might have known that your spouse used drugs before your marriage, but they seemed to keep it under control. Once you feel like your marriage is in trouble, you know that things have become unmanageable. Spouses of drug addicts are placed under tremendous amounts of stress. You might have had to deal with financial repercussions for your family, and your spouse may have even spent time in jail or committed crimes. Just having to explain their odd behavior to family members or friends can be embarrassing, and you may have legitimate concerns about the effects of their drug us on your children. When you are asking how to leave a spouse that is a drug addict, you have likely reached the end of your patience. Now, the real answer to this question will depend upon their willingness to seek help and your ability to work together to heal your relationship.

If you are still on the fence about whether or not you want to leave, then it is worth exploring if your marriage is salvageable. Asking yourself these questions can help you decide if it is worth helping your spouse seek treatment.

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Finding Support Groups For Parents Or Families Of Addicts Near Me

American Addiction Centers: AAC has rehab treatment facilities across the United States. Each rehabilitation center is unique and are available to answer any of your questions about treatment options and choosing the best facility to address your needs. Call AAC today on .

Adult Children of Alcoholics: Adult Children of Alcoholics is a 12-step support program for adults who grew up in dysfunctional homes with alcoholic or drug-addicted parents. The program operates under the principle that family dysfunction is a disease that can affect a person, both as a child and well into adulthood. In addition to supporting adult children of alcoholics and drug addicts, ACA also provides support services for children who grew up in a dysfunctional home, whether or not drugs or alcohol were present.

It offers group meetings in person, as well as over the phone, online, and through Skype. It also offers myriad literature and resources on its website.

National Association for Children of Alcoholics: The National Association for Children of Alcoholics is another supportive resource for the children of alcoholics as well as parents addicted to other drugs. The organization advocates on behalf of children and works to increase public awareness, improve public policies, and provide adequate educational and preventive services. It offers a variety of resources on its website as well.

Navigating A Toxic Culture With Your Daughter

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social mediaand many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

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What About Alcohol Addiction In Your Spouse

There are a variety of marital problems that can be caused by things that relate to alcohol without actually involving an alcohol use disorder.

If your spouse spends too much time at bars and clubs with friends, it can cause some resentment without slipping past the boundaries of normal social drinking. However, they may begin abusing alcohol before they meet the qualifications for dependency or addiction.

Alcohol abuse has its own dangers and concerns. It can lead to alcohol poisoning, a variety of health risks, and accidents caused by intoxication. If a person is under 25-years-old and engaging in frequent binge drinking over a long period of time, it can cause cognitive issues and stunted brain development. Alcohol abuse can lead to alcoholism when tolerance builds and chemical dependence develops. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 11 signs point to an alcohol use disorder that you could potentially notice in your spouse. Generally, they have to do with drinking cravings and being unable to cut back or stop using alcohol.

Another telltale sign of an AUD is drinking alone at odd hours. Its a major red flag if a spouse requires a drink to start the day. Alcohols half-life usually means it is significantly reduced after five to eight hours. This will cause a person who is dependent to start feeling withdrawal symptoms in the morning, after a night of drinking.

Educate Yourself On Addiction

Help for my Alcoholic Spouse

Understanding why your spouse is addicted can help you be more empathetic. When you communicate from a place of empathy, you get better results. Substance abuse is a chronic disease of the brain. People cant just quit once theyre dependent on drugs or alcohol. Drug addiction and alcoholism change the brain. They also frequently co-occur with mental illness. People with depression, anxiety and other co-occurring disorders may abuse substances to cope with psychiatric symptoms. Alcohol and drug abuse can also bring on psychiatric symptoms. Self-medication is a vicious cycle. These facts dont excuse your loved ones behavior. It doesnt invalidate your feelings of anger and sadness. Those emotions are legitimate reactions. Addiction education serves you by helping you understand how your addict spouse got here and what they need to get better.

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Your Path To Recovery Is Waiting And Were Here To Help

Our admissions specialist are available 24/7 to listen to your story and get you started with next steps.

  • No obligation to enter treatment
  • Available to you 24/7

To make matters worse, in relationships where drug addiction is a problem, infidelity and different forms of abuse are also more likely to occur. Even when the patients who struggle with drug addiction are committed to the overall recovery process, its a complicated set of circumstances for everyone involved.

Getting help is key to overcoming these challenges. You need to be sure your spouse is getting the aid they need. At Cardinal Recovery, we can help both you and your spouse in the process of addiction recovery. Contact us today to learn more.

Enabling Addiction: How Your Help Can Actually Harm The Alcoholic/addict

Many of us have inadvertently provided support for addicted loved ones in ways that are not beneficial. When we take on responsibilities like providing financial support for an addict we are helping that person to continue using without facing the natural consequences of active addiction. Actions which can enable your loved one to continue using include

  • Providing housing/paying their bills
  • Lying to cover up for them with family, friends, employers
  • Bailing them out of jail and paying for an attorney

It is extremely difficult to stand by as your loved one becomes homeless or stays in jail or faces the numerous harsh consequences that come from addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs. But addiction denial is a common symptom in an addict/alcoholics thought processes. Most addicts wont seek help to stop using until they are forced to face the reality of their situation.

Alcohol/drugs have impaired your loved ones ability to think rationally. In order for somebody who is so impaired to see their situation clearly and seek help, usually life has to scream at them to get their full attention. In recovery lingo this is called hitting bottom.

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Meet With Family Members To Provide Guidance

For family and friends of patients in recovery, addressing the addiction is one of the most difficult aspects of helping loved ones recover. Inadvertently, daily interactions with loved ones can enable the addict, and many family members choose to ignore the problem out of fear that their loved ones will be pushed away by the confrontation.

As such, during addiction therapy treatment, its important that family be well informed of how to handle their family members addiction moving forward. Counselors can help patients families in a variety of ways, from mediating family therapy sessions, to helping them locate a support group.5

The support of friends and family plays an integral role in recovering from addiction. Since recovery is a lifelong journey, having supportive family members who understand the process is of profound importance. Family members who are informed about addiction recovery can greatly increase chances of success throughout the recovery process, and in some cases can help keep addicts accountable. Substance abuse counselors can help families understand the complex road to recovery, and offer support for the difficult journey ahead.

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