Statistics: Lets Look At The Numbers
In 2015, an estimated 27.1 million Americans, age 12 or older, were found using illicit drugs. Out of these nearly 30 million people, imagine how many of those were in relationships. As a spouse of an addict, you may find yourself struggling to feel understood. However, we assure you that youre not alone.
There were also 138.3 million Americans aged 12 or older, who reported current use of alcohol in 2015. These numbers portray a major problem. People are struggling and must seek help. It is not realistic to simply ignore the problem and expect it to go away.
No matter how isolated you may feel, we assure you that other spouses of addicts are going through similar challenges. Recognizing these issues and being aware of the problem is the first step.
Start Taking Care Of Yourself And Your Family First
While you are running around worrying about and cleaning up after your spouses addictive messes, you probably have lost focus on other areas of your life and that of your children.
When you constantly put the addicts needs first, you may think you are being a good spouse, but you are really just hurting yourself and your family and breeding resentment.
You and your children need to have lives that are as normal as possible, no matter what the addict is doing.
- Maintain normal family activities church, school plays, baseball practice, etc.
- Eat your meals together
- Get plenty of sleep and exercise
- Visit with family and friends dont isolate yourself
- Keep an eye on your health stress can damage your immune system
- Practice stress-reducing techniques yoga, meditation, etc.
Taking Care Of Yourself
Your loved ones recovery from drug addiction can be a long process and the negative impact on your own health, outlook, and well-being can multiply over time. Its important you maintain a balance in your life to avoid burnout from all the stress and frustration that comes from helping someone get clean.
Find support. Expressing what youre going through can be very cathartic, so look for support from trusted friends and family, or a peer support group for family members of drug addicts. Talking to others who are facing similar challenges can help you find comfort, reassurance, and new ways of coping.
Manage stress. The stress of witnessing someone you love battle addiction can take a heavy toll. You can reduce your stress levels by eating right, exercising regularly, sleeping well, and practicing a relaxation technique such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation. Since stress levels can escalate when quitting drugs, you can even encourage your loved one to do the same.
Overcoming Addiction: Find an effective path toward recovery Special health report from Harvard Medical School.
Helplines and support
Support for sufferers of substance use disorders
In the U.S.: Call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-4357.
Canada: Download the PDF Finding Quality Addiction Care from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.
Support for families and loved ones
Read Also: What Is An Addictive Personality
Most People Who Become Addicted To Fentanyl Cannot Stop Using The Drug On Their Own
Signs your spouse may be addicted to meth my husband or my wife is addicted to methamphetamine. You can empower yourself with knowledge and strength so that you can help your spouse find their way out of the darkness of addiction. There is so much judgment and negativity attached to an active addiction that it can be hard to separate the truth from the myths.
Ways To Help A Spouse With Drug Addiction
One of the most challenging experiences in a marriage is dealing with the toll of addiction. Whether the spouse has had long-standing challenges with substance use or whether their challenges have just begun, addiction spares no one in a relationship. Luckily, there are resources available to help your spouse get the help they need. Recovery is not an easy road but is possible.
Though you may feel like your spouse is being reckless and irresponsible by continuing their drug use despite the consequences, understand that addiction is a chronic condition that becomes deeply embedded in the brain. Luckily, with proper support, mentorship, and guidance, your spouse can recover. You, too, should prioritize your emotional, mental, and physical health over the long road towards recovery ahead.
Here are 5 strategies to help your spouse who is struggling with a drug addiction.
Also Check: How Do You Treat Addiction
What Its Like Loving An Addict
First, when you love an addict, you have to understand that their addiction takes precedence over everything else, including you. People can start to take it personally, and it understandably hurts them deeply to feel as if the addict they love only cares about the drugs or alcohol, but the addicts brain is driving them toward placing the substance at the top of their priority list.
No matter what an addict says or promises, they are only driven by their desire to continue using, and theres not much of anything you can do to change that.
Also when you love an addict, they are going to lie, cheat and steal to get what they want, which is more drugs or alcohol. They can be charming and manipulative when it serves their purposes, and as the loved one of an addict, its essential that you understand that it is nothing more than just that: manipulation.
When you love an addict, you may constantly feel that youre on edge, or worried when that dreaded phone call is going to come.
So what can you do when you love an addict?
Theres very little you can do, and you certainly cant fix the person. Addiction is a complex disease, and theres no amount of threatening or begging thats going to eliminate the problem. Instead, one of the best things you can do when you love an addict is making sure youre not enabling them.
What happens if that doesnt work though? When is it time to give up, and how can you let go of an addict you love?
Friends Partners And Lovers: What It Takes To Make Your Marriage Work
Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another. Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest bookCherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.
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Also Check: Is Heroin The Most Addictive Drug
Signs My Husband Is Addicted To Drugs
Part of the reason it is so difficult to tell if your husband is on drugs is that, as our loved ones, we dont want to believe they are addicted. Your husband will likely go to great lengths to conceal their drug use from you.
Its easy to believe that your husband is not using drugs or in the case of prescription drugs, that they are only using what is necessary for proper treatment. The line between normal use and abuse of a substance can be thin, making it that much harder for someone to tell if their husband is addicted.
The easiest way to tell if your husband is suffering from addiction is to look for physical signs that they are using drugs or alcohol. These can include a wide range of signs such as bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, slurred speech, lack of coordination, tremors, poor hygiene or self-care, and insomnia.
Behavioral signs are another part of identifying addiction in your husband. These are more difficult to detect, but if you notice some or all of these signs, it is highly likely that your husband has an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
There are a few common behavior signs that are easier to identify if you think your husband may have an addiction. Abandoning favorite activities like sports and hobbies, aggressive or secretive behavior, relationship problems with friends and family, legal trouble, erratic behavior, and continuing prescription use longer than recommended.
Living With A Drug Addict Husband: What Should I Do
If you are living with a drug addicted husband, then you know that it can be hard to be in a relationship with an addict. You may dislike the person they have become and not know what to do to help them. It is easy to get dragged down with them when you do not know what you should or should not be doing.
Some spouses can also become addicted like their husbands when they give into pressure to participate in drug use with them. So, before you can help your husband, you need to help yourself, as follows:
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Understanding Your Loved Ones Substance Abuse
People start using drugs for a lot of different reasons. Many turn to substances to cope with the emotional pain of a mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Known as self-medicating, some people may be aware they have a mental health issue but are unable to find healthier ways of coping, while others remain undiagnosed and use drugs to manage specific symptoms.
Other people turn to drugs to change how they feel, to fit in, or to alleviate boredom or dissatisfaction with their lives. Then there are those whose substance abuse develops from a doctors well-intentioned efforts to treat a medical condition. Of all the people prescribed opioids to relieve pain, for example, estimates suggest that more than a quarter will end up misusing the drug.
Whatever your loved ones reason for starting, though, not everyone who uses drugs develops a problem. While the exact causes of addiction arent clear, genetics likely plays a role, along with environmental factors. While one person is able to use substances without detrimental effects, another finds even casual use quickly escalates into compulsion and addictiona very dark hole from which they can feel powerless to emerge.
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Take Care Of Yourself
When youre the spouse/partner of an individual that suffers from substance addiction, you need to take time out for yourself. Doing so will make sure that youre physically, mentally, and spiritually alright. That way you wont get drained and randomly lash out on the drug addict one day.
Even if you plan on leaving a relationship with a drug addict, you need to take time out for yourself to take care of yourself. This includes doing anything that you enjoy, whether that be yoga, dancing, or playing an instrument.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Know If Someone Is Addicted To Xanax
Send Your Spouse/partner With A Drug Addiction To Phoenix Rising Recovery To Receive Addiction Treatment
At Phoenix Rising Recovery, we understand that addiction affects more than just the individual that suffers from addiction. Thats why we offer services that help care for both the addicts and their loved ones. Here at Phoenix Rising Recovery, we also offer short-term and long-term forms of addiction treatment along with various specialized detox and addiction therapy services.
To learn more about Phoenix Rising Recovery, contact us today! Well gladly answer any questions that you may have.
What To Expect In Rehab
If your loved one has decided to enter a treatment program for their addiction, they can expect to first check-in and complete an intake interview. This will allow the program to create a plan tailored to their needs.
The next step involves detoxing to remove any substances from their body. This process can take anywhere from three to 14 days and can be aided by medications to ease withdrawal symptoms.
After detox, the next step involves therapy to help them adjust and develop new thought and behavior patterns that will support their long-term recovery.
Recommended Reading: How To Fight Food Addiction
When Your Partner Seems Off These Signs May Indicate A Substance Abuse Disorder:
- Secretive about their bank account or financial situation
- Make excuses to spend time alone or away from home
- Cant explain where large sums of money are going
- Their personality changes drastically at random
- They are more irritable for no reason
- Hanging out with sketchy individuals
- They possess syringes and/or pipes to consume drugs
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Cutting ties with friends over nothing
In summary, any of these signs together can mean a loved one has a drug addiction. A married addict loves their significant other without a doubt. Nonetheless, their brain and body crave drugs over anything. The urge to sleep, eat, and maintain healthy relationships gets pushed off to the side. They need support to recover.
The partner of a drug addict needs to keep in mind that its a medical disorder. There are valid reasons why someone develops a drug dependency. At the end of the day, a reason doesnt justify the drug dependency in itself.
Rebuild Trust With Caution
This experience has taught you a lot, but you have to learn how to trust again. That doesnt mean that you dont use caution. You do need to use caution because you may be the only person able to detect a relapse. Still, give your partner the benefit of the doubt.
Being married to an active substance abuser can be chaotic and stressful, but with timely intervention and effective treatment there is hope and recovery for you all.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Meth
Implementing Healthy Habits Into Your Routine
Being the spouse of an addict can have an emotional and physical toll on you. During a time like this, self-awareness is key. Be honest with how youve been taking care of yourself and what kind of emotions youre feeling. The body and mind are connected so taking care of both is crucial.
Even if youre a busy bee, you can still implement simple practices into your routine. The goal is to take care of yourself from the inside out. Being married to someone who suffers from addiction usually means that youre putting your own needs on hold. Its time to take a timeout for yourself.
The simple habits can include:
- Eating right
- Attending support groups and therapy
Get Your Loved One The Help They Need Our Substance Use Disorder Program Accepts Many Health Insurance Plans This Is Our Residential Program
Coping with spousal addiction can turn your entire life upside down. All the trust that was built throughout the relationship slowly disintegrates, and then is gone. A major part of any substance addiction that involves your spouse will result in great lengths being taken to hide their addiction. Yet, while it may seem like a simple solution to divorce a drug addict, its usually not that easy on any level. Youve invested fully in a life with this person, and, put simply, you love them. You share an adult life together one thats often difficult to walk away from.
Being the spouse of an addict can be a complete and utter personal nightmare if you dont have the right guidance and assistance, as some form of codependence may also be intrinsic in the relationship. Addressing something as huge as your spouses addiction may feel just too overwhelming for the codependent partner, it may even be something they often try to ignore or dismiss, or simply make excuses for.
For example, you may not even know what to say to an addict you love. This can leave you quietly trying to deal with a drug-addicted spouse, a dysfunctional family life, and confused and miserable children often as confused and miserable as you.
Did you know that statistics clearly demonstrate two-thirds of domestic violence stems directly from alcohol abuse? Certainly not an environment that is at all good for you or your children.
Read Also: What Percentage Of Homeless Are Drug Addicts
Ways You Can Help Your Partner Get Over Drug Addiction
We cant decide whats more unfortunate the fact that a staggering portion of the country falls prey to substance abuse and addiction or that this is a problem thats brushed under the carpet. Were all familiar with how horrible addiction to drugs can be to the individual but what happens when the addict is in a relationship? If you thought that your addictions and their effects were contained within yourself, you were wrong! Thanks to drugs, countless relationships are ruined every day. But what do you do when your partner is an addict? Well, its time we addressed that. We will tell you how to help your husband with drug addiction. If you want to support a spouse in addiction recovery, then here are a few things you should do.
First things first: addicts are not beyond our help. But being in a relationship with an addict is a tough job. And yes, there are things that you, as a partner, can do to make life easier for them. That said, this isnt a walk in the park. It involves coming up with a plan, being disciplined, and most importantly the patient. We dont want you to go through your partner hotboxing the room every day, selling furniture to buy drugs, and making you feel guilty for their state. You need to be level headed and take measured steps to survive addiction in relationships.